Lake District walker cheats death after heart stops for three hours

A walker ‘miraculously cheated death’ after his heart stopped for THREE hours during a hypothermia battle on a Lake District mountain.

Tommy Price, 27, caught hypothermia while ascending Blencathra with his friend Max in freezing conditions. He had just started climbing the mountain, known as Saddleback, before feeling ‘delirious’.

The lifeguard went into cardiac arrest as his body temperature dropped and Max was forced to leave him on the mountainside to get help as both their phone batteries had no power. Tommy, who works at the University of Salford, was rushed to hospital via air ambulance and placed straight onto an ECMO machine to warm his body after arriving at the unit with a core body temperature of 18 degrees, the M.E.N reports.

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He eventually woke from a five-day coma with no memory of what had happened – and immediately asked for a drink of Coke. Speaking about the incident on January 6 this year, Tommy said: “I can’t remember anything from the run.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team helped save Tommy's life
Keswick Mountain Rescue Team helped save Tommy’s life

“I tried to stand up and fell 10 metres, it was blizzard conditions so I couldn’t see anything. It took one hour and 15 minutes for the mountain rescue team to reach me.

“They found me lying there lifeless; I had severe hypothermia. They gave me three electric shocks and were doing CPR until we went into the helicopter.

“My heart started again and it was a waiting game then because I could have gone back into cardiac arrest. I could have lost a leg.

Tommy has since made a full recovery aside from sustaining nerve damage in his hands and feet. In a post
Tommy has since made a full recovery aside from sustaining nerve damage in his hands and feet. In a post

“I woke up in the intensive care unit – I didn’t know what had happened. I thought I had been in a car crash or something.

“My first memory was the two days previous. I’m lucky to be alive. I was in cardiac arrest for three hours – my heart stopped for three hours.

“The doctor said he was finding it hard to find a positive outcome for me. He didn’t think I was going to make it.”

Tommy has since made a full recovery aside from sustaining nerve damage in his hands and feet. In a post, the Keswick Mountain Rescue Team, who saved Tommy’s life, said: “Five months on and the man who miraculously cheated death is making a very good recovery and has even managed some decent runs.

Tommy is raising money for Keswick Mountain Rescue Team
Tommy is raising money for Keswick Mountain Rescue Team

“This was one of the lowest body temperatures from which someone has survived – a truly remarkable survival story and a testament to the professionalism of all involved. It is normal for fell runners to travel light, rapid movement creates heat that doesn’t need much in the way of clothing – this is fine when things go right.

“Let’s hope the story of our survivor is a wake-up call for those who venture ‘lightweight’ into the hills. Spare clothing and a survival bag don’t weigh much but could make the difference between life and death.”

Tommy is raising money for Keswick Mountain Rescue Team visit to thank the team them who rescued him. Visit his justgiving site to donate.

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