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MMA fighter Athena Martinez legs catch fire following cryotherapy session

Graphic pictures show how MMA fighter almost lost her legs after being left in a tank of -140C liquid nitrogen as part of controversial ‘cyrotherapy’ muscle treatment – as she opens up on the moment she realised something was horribly wrong

  • Athena Martinez from Sydney regularly undergoes cryotherapy sessions
  • She went for treatment and claims she was left for six minutes – double the time 
  • An hour after, Ms Martinez felt her legs were on fire and was rushed to hospital
  • She required emergency surgery after almost losing both her legs to burns
  • WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT 

An MMA fighter almost lost both her legs after she felt them catch fire during a muscle recovery treatment that went horribly wrong. 

Athena Martinez from Sydney regularly undergoes cryotherapy sessions before her jiu jitsu competitions and decided to go to a different clinic for her treatment on November 26. 

Cryotherapy is a technique where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for several minutes and helps patients lose weight, muscle/joint recovery and with anti-ageing.

The athlete says she was left in the liquid nitrogen tank with temperatures of -140C for six minutes, which she claims is three minutes longer than usual. 

Shocking images following the procedure show horrific burns to her lower legs and thighs. 

Athena Martinez from Sydney regularly undergoes cryotherapy sessions before her competitions (pictured)

Blisters formed on her legs

She needed emergency surgery following treatment

After an hour, Ms Martinez felt her legs were on fire and was rushed to Concord Hospital where she was admitted to the burns unit and required emergency surgery 

The 29-year-old told A Current Affair: ‘My entire legs looked dead, they were black and full of blisters. When the professor came he held my hand and said I need to rush you into hospital or you will lose your legs.’ 

She felt her legs were on fire and was rushed to Concord Hospital where she was admitted to the burns unit. 

Doctors informed Ms Martinez that she lost 50 per cent of the skin on her left leg and 20 per cent on her right leg. 

She needed an emergency skin graft to save her legs from the extreme burns. 

‘He literally just put me inside the machine straight away,’ the 29-year-old previously told Daily Mail Australia.

‘He turned on the machine and I didn’t feel anything. Once it finished he opened the door and he said ”I gave you a double session. I left you there for six minutes”.’ 

On Instagram, she revealed that doctors told her she will need another surgery on Monday to remove the dead muscle in her legs. 

Ms Martinez lost 50 per cent of the skin on her left leg and 20 per cent on her right leg

Ms Martinez lost 50 per cent of the skin on her left leg and 20 per cent on her right leg

The MMA amateur fighter (pictured) lost 50 per cent of the of the skin on her left leg and 20 per cent on her right leg

The MMA amateur fighter (pictured) lost 50 per cent of the of the skin on her left leg and 20 per cent on her right leg

The MMA amateur fighter is now completely bed ridden and can’t leave the house due to fears of infection. 

Devastated at her situation but grateful to still have her legs, Ms Martinez could not imagine what it’d feel like to not be able to fight again. 

‘Fighting is everything for me. It’s what gives me the motivation to get out of bed, it’s what gives me motivation to live a better life … it’s what gives me strength. It really changed my life,’ she said. 

She launched a GoFundMe asking for help to help her pay for further surgeries as she is not an Australian citizen. 

Devastated at her situation but grateful to still have her legs, Ms Martinez could not imagine what it'd feel like to not be able to fight again

Devastated at her situation but grateful to still have her legs, Ms Martinez could not imagine what it’d feel like to not be able to fight again

Ms Martinez hopes to ease into recovery with physiotherapy before returning to MMA

Ms Martinez hopes to ease into recovery with physiotherapy before returning to MMA

‘My boss kindly paid for my surgery as I don’t have Medicare,’ Ms Martinez wrote. 

‘I will require more bandage changes, medical appointments, medications, rehabilitation, transport to and from appointments, and legal fees which I cannot afford without financial assistance. It could be a long time until I can return to work. 

‘If there is anyway that anyone could support me it would be greatly appreciated!

‘I’ll live to fight another day.’ 

Ms Martinez hopes to ease into recovery with physiotherapy before returning to MMA.

On Instagram, Ms Martinez revealed that doctors told her she will need another surgery on Monday to remove the dead muscle in her legs

On Instagram, Ms Martinez revealed that doctors told her she will need another surgery on Monday to remove the dead muscle in her legs

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