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British Woman's Heart Stopped For Six Hours But She Survived

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British Woman's Heart Stopped For Six Hours But She Survived

Against all odds a British teacher has survived after her heart stopped beating for six hours, in what doctors have dubbed an 'exceptional case'.

Audrey Schoeman developed severe hypothermia when she became caught up in a Spanish snowstorm while hiking with her husband.

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She went on to experience what is thought to be the longest cardiac arrest ever recorded in Spain.

Audrey Schoeman with her husband. Credit: Facebook/Audrey Schoeman
Audrey Schoeman with her husband. Credit: Facebook/Audrey Schoeman

The 34-year-old, who is believed to have been born in the UK but moved to South Africa as a youngster, has now made a near full-recovery following the ordeal which took place on 3 November.

The MailOnline reported how the keen mountaineer's body temperature dropped so quickly - falling to just 18°C (64°F) - that it effectively preserved her organs until she could be revived.

She lost consciousness and developed hypothermia lost in the midst of a snowstorm on a mountain near Girona with her husband, Rohan.

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Terrifyingly, Audrey's husband recalled how his wife began 'talking nonsense' before her eyes rolled into the back of her head and she stopped breathing.

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Audrey stopped breathing on top of the mountain. Credit: Facebook/Audrey Schoeman
Audrey stopped breathing on top of the mountain. Credit: Facebook/Audrey Schoeman

Rescuers arrived and the teacher was airlifted to hospital. Her heart was still not beating, she wasn't breathing and her kidneys weren't working.

Despite this, doctors were determined and put Audrey on life support in a bid to warm her body and blood before restarting her heart with a defibrillator later that same evening.

The rescue and recovery were both outlined during a press conference at Barcelona's Vall d'Hebron Hospital, which she and her husband attended.

The press conference that Audrey and Rohan attended. Credit: Department of Health
The press conference that Audrey and Rohan attended. Credit: Department of Health

Audrey admitted that she doesn't remember anything from the rescue, which makes sense considering her heart literally stopped breathing.

But she added: "The more I learn and read about it, the more miraculous it seems that I have survived."

Dr Eduard Argudo, the medic leading the successful attempt to save Audrey's life, said: "This is an exceptional case on a global scale. It is the longest cardiac arrest ever recorded in Spain.

"There are practically no cases of people whose hearts have stopped for so long and have been able to be revived."

In an earlier statement Dr Argudo said: "She looked as though she was dead .But we knew that, in the context of hypothermia, Audrey had a chance of surviving. If she had been in cardiac arrest for this long at a normal body temperature, she would be dead."

Featured Image Credit: Department Of Health

Topics: uk news, News, Spain, Health

Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]