NJ woman alive for holidays, thanks to cooling method

GLOUCESTER CITY, NEW JERSEY; November 25, 2009

Doris Hulme doesn't remember much about November 4th.

"All I remember is I got my rent paid," she told Action News.

Not long after that, things went terribly wrong for this emphysema patient.

Her son, Dave Grubb, recalls, "She calls me up and says, 'dial 911, I'm not breathing too good.'"

Dave called for help, while rushing from his house around the corner.

Once inside his mother's house:

"She was like, 'Dave, don't let me die.' All of a sudden, she collapsed on me, as purple as can be," he remembers.

Doris's heart had stopped.

Dave says, "I called my brothers up, and said, 'Mom's dead."

EMT's were able to restart her heart. Still, when Doris got to Cooper University Hospital, hopes for her survival were slim.

"She was comatose. She wasn't responding at all, even her pupils weren't responding to light," Dr. Stephen Trzeciak, a critical care and emergency medicine specialist, said.

Immediately, a team began cooling Doris with a device called the Arctic Sun.

Pads went onto her torso and legs, to carry water that gets her temperature down.

"The goal is to get the patient cold as quickly as possible," says Dr. Trzeciak.

Specifically between 92 and 94 degrees.

That brings down inflammation in the brain, decreasing injury.

After 24 hours, the body is gradually re-warmed.

Doris woke up, pretty close to her fiesty self.

Son Dave says, "She actually pulled the tube out of her mouth."

Bill, another son, says, "It was a miracle. She was answering questions, every questions they asked her, she answered right!"

But Doris had her own questions, says Bill. "She was, 'what happened to me, Bill?' I said, 'Mom, your heart stopped. You were dead."

Doris is thankful to all the doctors and nurses who helped give her a second chance and she intends to make the most of it, by taking better care of her health.

"I don't ever want to leave them, don't want to leave my children and grandchildren," says Doris.

Bill says it best, "She's ready to live again."

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