Imgur user TheBassistsMuse is from Australia – a country not exactly known for harsh winters – so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that when she visited Saskatchewan during that long, dark season, she ran into a little bit of trouble.
The intrepid Australian, who later gave her name to Mashable as Emma Quirk, posted an album of photos chronicling her adventures in Prince Albert, Canada where she was, as she puts it, "wastey-pants one night in a new town... trying to make some friends and settle in."
Unfortunately, she got drunk, went outside without gloves or a jacket, and promptly passed out.
"I was blackout drunk by midnight," she writes, "with no phone, no money and no idea where I was and I couldn't find my way home."
Her friends last saw her at 2:30 a.m.
At 5:45 a.m., they found her outside, curled up in a ball and immediately took her to a hospital to be treated for moderate hypothermia and frostbite.
Warning: photos of her injuries are graphic.
These are her hands 20 minutes after she was found.
Shortly after this was taken, a nurse informed Quirk that the "best case scenario" would be that she lose her fingers. The worst case scenario would be to lose her hands.
She noted that the damage suffered on her hands ranged from frostnip to third and fourth degree frostbite, the most severe.
She was hospitalized.
As is the case with severe frostbite, blisters began to appear as her skin was rewarmed.
Very simply, frostbite occurs when the skin and underlying tissues freeze. Once frozen and thawed, the tissue may become infected, heal, or, in severe cases, die.
She was given morphine, but despite the pain, she kept her sense of humor.
In her Imgur post, she wrote:
"While in a flurry of nurses and bandages and medication I was given time with the local specialist called...
Wait for it....
I know! My injury has its own pun!When people say theres a silver lining to every situation they are right. "
Mashable confirmed that she was, in fact, treated by a Dr. Randy Friesen.
Eventually the pus-filled blisters, which were heavy and painful, had to be popped.
The photo above shows her fingers at their largest.
"The pain and pressure at this point was verging on unbearable," she wrote on Imgur. "I was taking opiates the whole time. Frostbite recovery is pretty well known for its pain, apparently. "
The doctor popped them with a scalpel, while wearing an apron and a face mask. They were THAT filled.
Ms. Quirk is slowly healing and has regained much of the use of her fingers. The doctor says she'll probably keep them.
There's a chance Quirk could lose her left pinky and her right middle fingertip, but she's taking it all in stride, adding that if she does, she wants to "make a sweet custom made prosthetic. Just like Margot Tennenbaum in The Royal Tennebaums (sic)."
We hope she doesn't have to and wish her a speedy recovery.
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