The Short of It
When you hear this story about a mom who went to extreme lengths to save her daughter's life, you will be truly convinced of the power of a mother's love.
Canadian mom Kristen Hiebert is a hero, her friends say, but she was simply doing what so many mothers would likely do in her place: trying to save the life of her 4-year-old daughter Avery, no matter what it took.
When the family's car skidded off a remote road into an embankment and toward a frozen river Sunday, the outside climate was far from hospitable. Temperatures dipped to -20°F in Manitoba that night. For 10 long hours, Hiebert protected Avery with the only heat source she had—her own body. The badly injured mom spent the entire night lying on top of her daughter, until the sun came up.
Then, even as frostbite developed on her knees, lower legs, and feet, and she fought through the excruciating pain of two broken arms, a broken neck, broken ribs, and a broken leg, the desperate mother decided she had to seek out help. She climbed up the embankment as Avery cried from below for her mom.
Thankfully, a lab technician named Tina Dubyts, who was on her way to work, noticed Hiebert. She described Hiebert to local news station CBC News, saying, "She was in shock. She was obviously frozen. She just kept talking about her daughter."
The good Samaritan called for help and then went to find Avery, who she discovered curled up in the wreckage of the car, in a spot where a passenger-side tire used to be.
Now, mom and daughter are reportedly recovering at Health Sciences Centre Hospital in Winnipeg. Avery's injuries are thought to be fairly minor in comparison to those of her mother, but she is suffering from frostbite on one foot.
A Go Fund Me page was created by a friend and has raised more than $46,000 for the family. It includes this tribute to Hiebert: "Kristen's courage was born from a mother's love. This story of survival has touched so many hearts." It goes on to add an update on the pair's condition, saying "Unfortunately, while she was keeping Avery warm during that cold night her legs were exposed to the cold. If body tissues are exposed to extreme cold, injury can result known as frostbite. Further tests are being done to determine the extent of Kristen's injuries as a result of frostbite on her feet and one leg."
Here's wishing this inspirational mother and her adorable daughter a speedy recovery. It's true that her story has touched my heart, very, very deeply, and I can only hope I would have her courage in a situation as unthinkable as the one she survived.