Here is a story for all you CHOCOLATE freaks out there
Saved By Chocolate: Valentine's Day gift keeps woman alive after vehicle plunges into ice-covered river
Joel Baglole CanWest News Service Friday, February 18, 2005
Rescue workers in Nelson are crediting a heart-shaped box of Valentine's chocolates with saving the life of a woman who spent two hours submerged in freezing water after her sport-utility vehicle crashed through the ice-covered Kootenay River.
Simon Grypma, assistant fire chief with the Nelson Fire Department, said the woman whose SUV plunged into the river Tuesday morning was able to avoid succumbing to hypothermia largely by eating chocolates her husband and children had given her for Valentine's Day.
"Eating the chocolates increased her chances of survival," said Grypma, who has been with the fire service for 28 years. "With all the sugar in the chocolates, and the energy used to digest it, it likely gave her the extra body heat she needed to hold on and survive a little longer."
Grypma said the accident happened about 2 a.m. Tuesday. The woman was called into work at her hospital job. She was driving on Lower Granite Road, about eight kilometres west of Nelson, when she hit a patch of ice and lost control of her red four-door Honda CRV.
"The vehicle went off the road and plunged down a 30-foot river bank," said Grypma. "It flipped upside down onto its roof, landed on the river, broke through an inch-and-a-half of ice and sank in about five feet of water about 10 feet from the shore."
The woman, whose name has not been released, experienced a "nightmare" inside the vehicle, said Grypma. She was hanging upside down in her seat-belt as the area around her filled with ice-cold water and she struggled to get around the air bag that had deployed.
"It was absolutely pitch black in the vehicle," he said. "She said it was like closing your eyes. She couldn't see anything. And the vehicle was filling with ice water."
The woman struggled free and managed to crawl into the back-seat area. She frantically tried to open the doors and windows, but was unable to. She found her cellphone, but it was water-logged and not working.
A small air pocket formed in the back seat and the woman was able to use it to breathe once the rest of the vehicle was filled with water.
"She had about eight inches of air space," said Grypma. "Her head was touching the floor of the vehicle and her chin was touching the water."
The woman told rescue workers she began to pray that her husband would come to find her. As she was praying, a heart-shaped box of Valentine's chocolates given to her by her family the day before floated by her head. She began eating the chocolates as she prayed.
Meanwhile the woman's husband learned that she hadn't reported for her shift and went out to look for her.
About 2:45 a.m. he spotted the SUV's tire tracks going off the side of the road. He saw the vehicle upside down in the river, only its tires were visible. He called 911, ran down to the river's edge and yelled to his wife. He later told rescue workers he was amazed when she answered his calls.
A few moments later, the phone rang at the home of Al Craft, chief of the Fire Rescue Service in South Slocan, about 13 kilometres west of Nelson. It was Grypma calling to say they needed a water-rescue team.
Craft said he and deputy chief Fred Doerfler arrived around 3:30 a.m. with wet and dry suits and an inflatable boat.
"I couldn't believe anybody was alive in there," said Craft.
A winch from a tow truck was attached to the back of the SUV. Craft and Doerfler went into the water and tried to open the doors, but were unable to. They broke a window, but couldn't take the woman out through it as it would mean submerging her completely. Craft said they were also worried about moving the vehicle as it might mean she would lose her air pocket.
"We just knew that every second counted and we had to move fast," said Craft.
Using the winch, the rescue workers pulled the vehicle to the side, close to shore. They got the SUV far enough out of the water that they were able to open the passenger side door, get the woman out and bring her to a waiting stretcher. It was 4 a.m. The woman's core body temperature was around 30C. She was rushed to hospital and treated for extreme hypothermia.
Hypothermia sets in when core body temperature drops below 35 C. If body temperature falls below 32 C, the condition can become critical. Few people live if their body temperature goes lower than 28 C, said Grypma, who added that the chocolates likely kept the woman warm long enough to survive until rescuers arrived.
"We got her within minutes of her losing her life," said Grypma.
The woman has since been released from hospital.
© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2005
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Thread: Saved By Chocolate?
02-18-2005, 11:34 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
- Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
Saved By Chocolate?If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)
"I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD
"Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)
Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!
impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto
IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.
02-21-2005, 08:20 PM #2
- Join Date
- Nov 2004
I can believe it! I'm a firm believer that chocolate comes from the cocoa bean, making it a vegatable as well, and that if you eat milk chocolate, you've taken in your dairy requirements. Oh and let's not forget-Fruit! German chocoalte has coconut in it so there's another food group covered, you could also include the fact that there's white, dark, semi-sweet, bitter, mint and belgium chocolates to enjoy. Why, I'd be willing to say that if you spread them all out you'd have enough to cover a 7 course dinner( or more) . It's not the eating that is tough, it's the losing what you've eaten after you're done! Yahoo for Palates!
02-21-2005, 08:34 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
- Westlake, Ohio
Chocolate is truly the "food of the Gods." It brings a sense of calm during hormonal moments and other times of stress.
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