Posted by by Cumbria Crack June 21, 2022 on Jun 25th 2022

Runner clinically dead for three hours in January woke up from coma and asked for a Coke

Runner clinically dead for three hours in January woke up from coma and asked for a Coke
A man who ‘died’ on a fellside in January is planning to run the London Marathon in October to raise money for the mountain rescue team who saved him.

Tommy Price was found by Keswick Mountain Rescue Team on Hall’s Fell, Blencathra, on January 6 and was airlifted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Newcastle.

It was touch and go for Tommy, who suffered a cardiac arrest. On arrival at the hospital, his core body temperature was 18.8 degrees Celcius – one of the lowest temperatures ever recorded.

Normal core body temperature is 37.7 degrees Celcius.

At the time, mountain rescuers reported they had been called out to a delirious runner. Only now have they revealed the full story.

Also involved in the callout was Penrith Mountain Rescue Team.

Tommy, 26, was nearing the end of the first leg of a Bob Graham Round training run with a friend when he became unable to continue.

The temperature all day had been around freezing point with strong winds, snow and sleet showers.

Rescuers couldn’t find Tommy

His friend was unable to get a phone signal, so put Tommy into a bivvy bag and ran to get help.

When the first two mountain rescuers reached the bivvy bag, they found it empty. It was folded up with stones on top of it, but they could not find the casualty.

The team said: “They continued on and discovered the casualty a little further up the trail lying face down and with no signs of life.

“Despite the fact that to all appearances the man was lifeless, current medical guidelines and our team training tells us that a casualty is not dead until they are warm and dead. To that end the casualty is treated as if he were still alive.

“While one team member started an assessment of the casualty the other reported the situation by radio and the urgent requirement for a helicopter evacuation.

” When the initial careful assessment showed no signs of life CPR was started.”

A few minutes later, team members arrived with the medical bag and defibrillator.

The team said: “The pads were placed on the man’s chest and shocks given but with no effect. As more team members, and reassuringly one of the team’s doctors, arrived with various bits of kit the man’s evacuation plan was put into action, all the time with CPR in progress.

“An autopulse is a battery-powered machine that performs chest compressions allowing the casualty to be transported on a stretcher. When this arrived on scene the man was loaded onto the stretcher in preparation for the arrival of Coastguard Rescue 936 helicopter arriving from Caernarfon.

“In very blustery and showery conditions the man was expertly winched from Hall’s Fell ridge into the helicopter along with a team doctor who accompanied the casualty to A&E at the RVI Hospital in Newcastle.”

He woke up and wanted a Coke
Tommy said: “I was clinically dead for between two hours 14 minutes and three hours 20 minutes and if it wasn’t for the volunteers and doctors that work for mountain rescue I wouldn’t be here today!”

When Tommy arrived at the hospital and his core temperature was discovered, a machine was used to remove his blood, warm it, oxygenate it and then recirculate it in his body.

The team added: ” In this way the casualty’s body was rewarmed gradually. There followed a number of very tense days with the casualty in an induced coma. Snippets of positive news received from the consultants in the hospital on the man’s progress were greeted with amazement from those who had seen him on the hill, incredulous that he could possibly be alive.

“After five days the man ‘woke up’ and was asking what on earth had happened as well wanting a Coke!”

Tommy, who was in intensive care for two weeks, said he had now fully recovered – apart from severe nerve issues in my hands and feet – and planned to tackle the London Marathon for Keswick Mountain Rescue Team because members saved his life.

The team added that Tommy’s temperature was one of the lowest from which someone has survived. It added: “A truly remarkable survival story and a testament to the professionalism of all involved.”

The team warned runners that although it is normal for fell runners to travel light, it hoped Tommy’s story will remind people that spare clothing a survival bag do not weigh much – but could make the difference between life and death.