Grace is a Green sea turtle who was rescued in Awendaw, SC. She was found floating in the Intracoastal Waterway, listless and unable to swim away. Grace was cold stunned. The term cold stunned refers to the hypothermic reaction that occurs when sea turtles are exposed to prolonged cold water temperatures. Initial symptoms include a decreased heart rate, decreased circulation, and lethargy, followed by shock, pneumonia and possibly death.
Grace was lucky enough to strand herself near a dock belonging to a coastal conservationist and wildlife biologist, who was able to recognize the symptoms of a cold stunned turtle, and for whom Grace was named after.
Upon admission they performed a physical examination, took radiographs, administered fluids, vitamins, and antibiotics. She had a lowered heart rate of 16 beats per minute, and a body temperature of 54.8°.
After some special care and a slow acclimation to being in a tank of salt water, Grace was swimming around energetically and devouring fish and lettuce. Radiographs were taken and showed no signs of pneumonia, prognosis was good. Grace made a full recovery and was released approximately 7 months after admission.