More than 200 student volunteers willingly jumped
into frigid waters to help in the hypothermia
Despite harsh conditions (the
phrase "you feel like you're just about dead" comes
up often in John Hayward's conversation) the
researchers were never short on volunteers.
Will Cupples was an undergraduate
student in Hayward's physiology class in 1973.
He remembers that he was attracted by the sense
of adventure, the obvious applications for the
research, and Hayward's enthusiasm. In total,
he volunteered over 10 hours in the water. "The
first 15 minutes are the worst, and then your
body goes numb," remembers Cupples. "But it wasn't
all bad-the rewarming afterwards was a heck of
The camaraderie among researchers
and Hayward's energy for including everyone in
the project made for a convivial atmosphere.
In every experiment, Hayward and his colleagues
would be the first to jump in the water. Hayward's
wife Mary would often fill in if they were low
When not in the water, the
volunteers would cheer the others on, or Hayward
would find a way to include them in other aspects
of the research. "It was good science, and it
was applied science, and there was also some
phenomenal teaching going on," says Cupples.
The experience certainly made
a lasting impression on Cupples-he went on to
do a PhD in physiology, looking at temperature
effects on kidney function, and recently returned
to UVic to join the Biology department.
Science | Freezing for a cause