This story is one that may just restore your faith in your fellow man. Vancouverite Christine ‘Tink’ Newman, 24, is now in stable condition at Vancouver General Hospital, but her road to recovery is one that doctors are calling a ‘miracle.’
As reported by CBC News, Christine’s story began when she was snowshoeing in Garibaldi Park near Whistler and she met a group of fellow snowshoers and skiers. Her trek had taken her longer than she anticipated and while she didn’t intend to, she was convinced by more experienced outdoorspeople to stay overnight in one of the park’s cabins. Early the next morning at 2 a.m., Newman walked outside to use the outhouse. She became disoriented and while lost, she dropped her backpack on the trail and fell into a tree well.
Newman remained there for over seven hours until, by luck, she was discovered by the adventurers she befriended at the cabin. The group had assumed that Newman set out early for the parking lot, so they continued their trek until they determined that something was off. They happened upon the backpack that Newman lost and eventually found her in the approximately 1.3 to 1.5 meters (4 feet 3 inches to 4 feet 11 inches) deep tree well, where just the top of her head could be seen.
They struggled to pull Newman out of the tree well. Once they did, they found her unconscious, hypothermic, with no vital signs. The Calgary Sun noted that the group of six, which included a Calgary Mountie, a lifeguard, and a former search and rescue worker, took turns administering CPR for two-and-a-half hours until help could arrive. When they were not giving CPR, the others packed down snow with snowshoes so that a helicopter could land on packed snow. The determined group never gave up and even used their gear to perform part of the rescue. In a recent press conference John Newman, Christine’s father told the press, "There's a pink froth that comes up near death…they had to remove that to continue the CPR so they broke apart a CamelBak package and used the tube there to try and suction out some of the material."
Eventually search and rescue teams arrived on the ground and administered CPR for another two hours before a helicopter was able to fly Christine to Vancouver General. She was given special hypothermia recovery treatment by Dr. Vinay Dhingra and is expected to make a full recovery. Ms. Newman is reportedly talking, laughing and singing from her bed in the intensive care unit.
Christine’s parents, John and Ernestine Newman, are incredibly thankful to all the rescuers. Ernestine told reporters, “All of them are so amazing and we are so grateful they saved our daughter’s life.” The truly heroic group of rescuers felt that they were just doing what they felt was right. “I see it as an unbelievable series of coincidences…Even to a rational person as myself, that was really, really, really amazing,” said Eric Urban, one of the rescuers. “We’re just happy that she’s doing well.”