The 29-year-old amateur fighter Martinez was rushed into emergency surgery and was left with nasty lesions on her legs after she was given a cryotherapy ‘double session’ – a medical treatment where a patient is exposed to blisteringly cold temperatures of around -145 degrees Celsius (-230 Fahrenheit) in order to treat skin disorders and repair soft tissue damage.
Typical cryotherapy sessions can tend to be between two and three minutes, but Martinez says that she was in the chamber for more than double that time, and she has paid a significant toll for the error.
The Brazilian, who fights out of Australian Top Team, told local media that she was warned by doctors that the injuries were so severe that it could lead to her losing her legs.
“I couldn’t sleep because I was in so much pain,” Martinez told news.com.au.
“At 10am on Friday, doctors opened the bandages she said it didn’t look good. He told me, ‘We are going to have to rush you into surgery because you might lose your legs’.
“I started crying because I was scared. At that moment I couldn’t feel my legs, so I knew it was very severe. I have burns to 50 percent of my left leg and 20 percent of my right leg.”
Martinez, who has started a GoFundMe page to help her with her medical bills, also said that her injuries will require extensive rehabilitation and that she will not be able to compete in mixed martial arts, or even return to her regular job, anytime soon.
“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,” she stated.
Cryotherapy is a technique often used by some of the sporting world’s most popular figures as they attempt to gain an edge on their competition. Cristiano Ronaldo is understood to have had his own personal cryotherapy chamber in installed in his home in 2013 – and he is thought to undergo two three-minute sessions per week to keep himself in peak physical condition.