A snowshoer who fell and was stuck in a B.C. tree well for more than seven hours is expected to make a full recovery, thanks to a fortuitous chain of events — including a record-breaking amount of CPR.
Christine "Tink" Newman, 24, was unconscious and hypothermic when she was found on the morning of April 1 in Garibaldi Park near Whistler, reported Pique Newsmagazine.
Newman, a B.C. student, was apparently heard leaving the Wax at Elfin Lakes shelter around 2 a.m. by guests who thought she was going to use the bathroom, Squamish Search and Rescue manager John Howe told Pique.
Newman's parents, John and Ernestine, told Global News that she was only discovered because her backpack had fallen near the tree well. Her friends, who were snowshoeing the next morning, spotted it and pulled her out.
Her six rescuers included a retired paramedic and a nurse who were able to start performing CPR right away, Howe told Pique. They took turns until search and rescue arrived. Those members then continued the emergency procedure, meaning in total, Newman received about four continuous hours of CPR.
“As far as I know, this is the longest duration of CPR ever performed in North America for this condition, probably any condition, with a good outcome,” Dr. Doug Brown, a volunteer with Squamish Search and Rescue and an ER doctor who has researched accidental hypothermia, told Global News.
Newman was transferred by helicopter to the Vancouver General Hospital, which has a special device called an ECMO that helped raise her body temperature, said Global.
"The stars were aligned as far as these people being able to find the young lady at the time they did; to be able to get that call out as quickly as they did; to have the knowledge, skill and training to do initial CPR," John Willcox of the Squamish Search and Rescue told CBC News.
Newman is in stable condition in hospital and is expected to fully recover from the incident, reported CBC.
Newman is a former skeleton athlete who is studying interactive arts and technology and business entrepreneurship at Simon Fraser University, according to several online profiles. She's also CEO of a startup called Foodavinci, a food website.
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