Woman who had stroke at pole recovering

Oct. 29, 2011 at 1:50 PM   |   Comments

BALTIMORE, Oct. 29 (UPI) -- A nuclear engineer who was medevacked from the South Pole after suffering a stroke is making a good recovery, her doctors at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore say.

Renee-Nicole Douceur, 58, was expected to be discharged from the hospital Saturday, The Baltimore Sun reported. She was treated in New Zealand after being evacuated a few weeks after the Aug. 27 stroke and transferred to Hopkins a few days ago.

Dr. Paul Nyquist at Hopkins said he expects Douceur to recover fully. Whether quicker evacuation would have made a difference cannot be determined, he added.

Douceur met reporters Friday wearing the black turtleneck and overalls that she wore in Antarctica. Most of her clothes were left behind, CNN reported.

She told the Sun that after she realized she had had a stroke she tried to keep her brain active. A doctor at the station also found treatment on the Internet.

Her evacuation was delayed because late August is still the Antarctic winter, when extreme low temperatures make flying dangerous or impossible. While Douceur believes her employer, Raytheon Polar Services, and the National Science Foundation could have got her out more quickly, officials say they acted as soon as possible.

Douceur's next step is physical therapy at her home in New Hampshire. She hopes to be skydiving and driving dog sleds again soon.

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