MMA fighter suffers horrific burns to her legs after being left in a tank with -195C liquid nitrogen for six minutes as part of a controversial ‘cyrotherapy’ muscle recovery treatment
- MMA fighter Athena Martinez, 26, attended a cryotherapy session on Thursday
- She was submerged into liquid nitrogen for double the recommended time
- Two hours later her legs turned hot and red before beginning to form blisters
- They developed into second degree burns and she had emergency surgery
- Ms Martinez has been ordered to bed rest after the limb-saving skin graft
- WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
An athlete has suffered horrific burns to her legs after being left in a -195C liquid nitrogen tank for six minutes.
Athena Martinez, 29, a Brazilian MMA fighter the Australian Top Team, visited a recovery clinic for a new-age ‘cyrotherapy’ session in Sydney on Thursday.
The sessions usually cost around $100 and involve clients being submerged from the neck down in a freezing cold chamber for three minutes for muscle recovery.
But one horror session left Ms Martinez in ‘agonising pain’ and required an emergency skin graft to save her legs from the extreme burns.
Athena Martinez (pictured above), a Brazilian MMA fighter, was forced to undergo emergency surgery after visiting a ‘recovery’ cryotherapy clinic in Sydney on Thursday
She was submerged from the neck down into a -195C tank of liquid nitrogen (pictured above) and left for six minutes, double the length of a recommended three minute session
The 26-year-old said her legs burned after the session before blisters appeared (pictured)
Ms Martinez visited the clinic at the request of her nutritionist ahead of an upcoming fight that was scheduled for Friday.
‘I got there and the cryotherapy guy didn’t tell me anything, he literally just put me inside the machine straight away,’ the 29-year-old 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”.’
Ms Martinez said her legs turned red and began ‘burning’ an hour and a half after the session.
‘Around 5pm I could see blisters starting to form and sent a photo to my friend who is a nurse. She straight away said I needed to go to the hospital,’ she said.
The 26-year-old rushed to Concord Hospital and doctors in the emergency room were forced to pop the blisters and bandage her legs.
Ms Martinez (pictured) sent pictures of her blisters to a nurse who to told her to immediately visit a hospital. Doctors at Concord Hospital bandaged her legs and told her to return on Friday
Ms Martinez returned to Concord Hospital on Friday morning and was told she would need emergency surgery to recover from her second degree burns (pictured above)
‘I got to hospital around 7pm and by that time my legs were starting to look very bad, the blisters were popping out from everywhere,’ she explained.
Ms Martinez was told to return in the morning and couldn’t sleep all night because her legs ‘were on fire’. She then visited the hospital at 10am on Friday.
‘As soon as the nurse removed my bandages and I looked back to my legs I could see that it was very bad. There were massive blisters the size of a tennis ball,’ she said.
‘The doctor said “I need to rush you into surgery right now because you might lose your legs” and I was in tears.
Ms Martinez’s (pictured above) boss paid $4,000 for the emergency surgery, where she had a synthetic skin graft to save her legs. She has been ordered to bed rest for two weeks
Ms Martinez has must also return to the hospital every three days (injuries pictured)
Ms Martinez’s boss paid $4,000 for the emergency surgery as she was not covered by insurance and did not have Medicare as a non-Australian citizen.
Doctors then performed a synthetic skin graft and removed the dead skin caused by Ms Martinez’s second degree burns.
‘I need to go back to hospital every three days for them to change the bandages and stay in bed for two weeks and then we’ll go from there,’ she said.
‘The clinic haven’t said anything about helping with payment or that they’re sorry.
‘They said they had a good cream and offered to give me free treatments.’
Ms Martinez hopes to ease into recovery with physiotherapy before returning to MMA.
The MMA fighter (pictured) hopes to return to the sport after undergoing physiotherapy