Warning: the following photos are not for the faint of heart. (And if you already hate winter, this will only make it worse.)
The Australian woman was visiting Saskatchewan a couple of weeks ago when, after a night of heavy drinking, she got separated from her friends. She had no phone, no cash, and “no idea where I was.”
Drowsiness, a symptom of hypothermia, started to set in. She fell asleep just steps away from a nursing home.
After a few hours, staff at the home noticed her curled up in a ball in the snow and rushed Quirk to the hospital. The woman’s hands were already exhibiting signs of frostbite, her fingertips purple.
Forty-five minutes after she was found, a nurse warned her:
“[Best] case scenario I keep my fingers. Worst case, I lose my hands,” Quirk recalled.
She posted a series of photos of her frostbite ordeal in the hospital — what she called “a waiting game” — on imgur.
The pictures of blisters, swelling and extreme puffiness are not easy to look at.
“The pain and pressure at this point was verging on unbearable. I was taking opiates the whole time. Frostbite recovery is pretty well known for its pain, apparently,” Quirk wrote.
A specialist, whom Quirk identified as a “Dr. Freezin” — most likely spelled Dr. Friesen — eventually cut open her blisters with a scalpel.
“Puss went everywhere. EVERYWHERE,” Quirk added.
Dr. Friesen told Quirk that she’ll “probably” keep all of her fingers, although she won’t find out until June. Her left pinky and right middle fingertip are still looking worrisome.
Fortunately, Quirk seems to have a plan if she does say goodbye to some of her digits:
“If I lose them I wanna make a sweet custom made prosthetic. Just like Margot Tenenbaum in The Royal Tenenbaums.”