On June 10, 1986, a 2¹/₂-year-old girl slipped and fell into a creek near her Salt Lake City home. She spent 66 minutes in the freezing water, her body lodged against a rock. Conventional wisdom held that 15 minutes was the maximum anyone could survive drowning. When rescue workers pulled her onto the bank, she had no pulse. Her skin had turned a light blue, the color of oxygen deprivation. Her pupils were fixed and dilated, evidence that her brain had shut down.
Clinically, she was dead.