“My heart stopped for THREE HOURS”: Man, 27, from Salford cheats death after catching hypothermia on a mountain – they didn’t think he was going to make it


A man who had to be rescued from a mountainside after he caught hypothermia has told how his heart stopped beating – for THREE HOURS.

Tommy Price became unwell while climbing Blencathra with a friend on January 6. The 27-year-old had just started ascending the Lake District mountain in freezing conditions when he suddenly felt ‘delirious’.

As his body temperature began to plummet, Tommy went into cardiac arrest. With both their phone batteries drained, his friend, Max, was forced to leave him on the mountainside so he could go and find help at the bottom of the slope.

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“I can’t remember anything from the run,” Tommy said. “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.”

The rescue

Tommy, who works at the University of Salford as a lifeguard, was rushed to hospital via air ambulance and placed straight onto an ECMO machine to warm his body. On arrival at the unit, his core body temperature read 18 degrees.

He eventually woke from a five-day coma with no memory of what had happened – and immediately asked for a drink of Coke. “My heart started again and it was a waiting game then because I could have gone back into cardiac arrest,” Tommy continued.

“I could have lost a leg. 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.

Tommy during his recovery

“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.

“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.

Tommy recently pictured at the same location he was rescued

“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 now raising money for Keswick Mountain Rescue Team. To donate, follow the link by clicking here.


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