The Ice Woman of Lengby Minnesota
Simply Unexplainable 7/19/10
By: Chris Capps
Jean Hilliard was a normal 19 year old woman, but an incident in her home town of Lengby Minnesota was enough to make her a one in a million mystery woman after she was discovered completely frozen from head to tow. Her neighbor discovered her first and immediately rushed her to the hospital. What happened next would stick in the memory of all those present for the rest of their lives.
Jean had endured temperatures of twenty-five degrees below zero for an unknown amount of time. Her arms would not move, and were thought to be completely stiff from the cold. She was also completely frozen in some places, with ice clinging to her. She had been trying to make contact with the neighbor who found her when she had been trapped by the ice and frozen solid after her car wrecked after skidding on the ice. The weather was unlike anything the region had seen in years. One nurse who touched the ice woman said her skin was like ice itself. She compared it to reaching her hand into a freezer. Jean's face had the look of death about it. In addition to being completely frozen it was as white as the snow she had been found in. Doctors worked quickly to save her as best they could, but they didn't have much hope that she would pull through.
In addition to the frost bite that sufferers often must endure after feeling the effects of extreme exposure, there are other reasons doctors feared for Jean's life as well. The human body is composed primarily of water. And when water freezes, it expands. On a microscopic level, this means the cells in Jeans body were in danger of actually bursting if the water within them broke the cell walls. As a result, she may have actually sustained considerable brain damage as well as suffering from significant physical defects. The destruction of cell tissues is an incredible drawback that could have affected her mind, resulting in severe brain trauma and likely even brain damage even if she could have been saved. At least this is what doctors said.
Jean would wake up and seemed completely unaffected by the incredible transformation from largely liquid to a pure solid block of ice. She would be released a little over a month later with virtually no sign that there had ever been any danger at all. To this date it is a case of a largely unexplainable medical miracle.
What makes the human body such an incredible machine that is capable of undergoing such incredible trauma in the cases of some people, but virtually incapable of sustaining even minor injuries in others? Her family at least partially attributes divine intervention. Still, is there another possible explanation here? Is it possible Jean's body actually had some form of mutation within it that allowed her to survive the extreme cold? Since the destruction of cells is one of the things that is holding cryogenic technology back, study into matters such as this might warrant further investigation.
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