Brittany Eichelberger is a little hoarse, her lungs are congested and she may lose the tips of her fingers and toes to frostbite.
But her mother couldn't be happier.Doctors say the 3-year-old girl was alert and well Thursday, three days after she was found frozen and clinically dead in a snowdrift outside her mobile home in Elkins, W.Va.
"At this point, she looks pretty normal," said Dr. Shekhar Venkataraman, the girl's doctor at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, where she was in serious condition.
Brittany was breathing and eating on her own and is expected to be released from Children's within two weeks. It will be some time, though, before doctors determine if there's been any brain damage, he said.
"When we first took her to the hospital, I didn't think she had a chance because she just looked so bad," said Brittany's mother, Melinda Eichelberger, 20. "Now, she's fighting with the nurses, telling them to get away."
Doctors estimated the blond, blue-eyed toddler was outside for two to three hours, dressed only in a T-shirt and underwear in 27-degree weather.
Her body temperature dropped to 74 degrees, causing her heart to stop - apparently minutes before her mother found her, Venkataraman said. He said her heart probably stopped at 80 degrees.
Without oxygen, the cold helped preserve her brain, he said.
A neighbor, Paul Owens, began heart and lung resuscitation until medics arrived. Doctors at Davis Memorial Hospital in Elkins continued revival techniques for 3 1/2 hours until Brittany's temperature began to rise and her heart began to beat.