How did Jean Hilliard recover after being frozen solid?
December 20, 1980. On bitterly cold morning in Lengby, Minnesota, a man opened his back door to find his 19-year-old neighbor, Jean Hilliard, laying in the snow. She was literally frozen solid.
The night before, Jean’s car had ran off the road and gotten stuck. Jean was trying desperately to reach her neighbor’s house. The temperature was twenty-five degrees below zero.
At the small local hospital, Dorothy Killian of the nursing staff was stunned:
Dr. Ryan Kelly was called in:
The hospital staff was doing everything it could. But Rosie Erickson, a hospital office worker, worried it wouldn’t be enough. She knew that Jean needed a miracle:
With the blessing of the family, the word went out. A prayer chain started about 9:00 that morning. Within 10 minutes, more than 30 people were praying for Jean.
The odds against Jean were enormous. But two hours later, Jean suddenly went into violent convulsions. It was a good sign, but the danger was far from over. Doctors worried that even if Jean regained consciousness she might have serious brain damage. And the frostbite was so severe that amputating Jean’s legs seemed inevitable. Then Jean regained consciousness:
Sandra Klicker, Jean’s sister, was there:
Jean spent 49 days in the hospital. In defiance of everything her doctors knew about frostbite, she recovered completely. Dr. Ryan Kelly was amazed:
Jean credits her survival and astonishing recovery not only to the doctors and nurses who cared for her, but also to the friends and neighbors who prayed for her: