The woman with the lowest known body temperature and how she survived

Sweden, 1999: the 29-year old doctor Anna Bågenholm just wanted to go skiing with friends. In the late afternoon, she fell into a small river and was trapped below a thick layer of ice. She was  able to breathe due to a small air hole, but when the rescue came she had been in freezing water for 80 minutes. Once she arrived at the nearest Hospital, the doctors measured a temperature of 13.7 degrees Celsius (56.6 Fahrenheit). She was dead. But the team didn’t give up hope. Little by little they warmed her blood outside of her body and re-injected it. Several hours later, the heart started beating again. After a few months, Bågenholm was back to being a doctor. She recovered completely. It was the most extreme case of hypothermia ever documented.

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Top image By Dingske (Own work) [GFDL (, CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or CC BY 2.5 (], via Wikimedia Commons