Old Timers Resisting High Tech


On this page we are going to post stories of medical miracles. Medical miracles give us all a sense of hope. If you have a story of a medical miracle you would like to tell, send it to us by e-mailing the story to miracles@otrht.com. The story must be true. Here is an example of a medical miracle story.

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He had been throwing up for four 
days. But clearly, this was not a mere stomach bug.

On August 17, 2012, 23-year-old Michael Crowe “froze up”—eyes open and staring into space—on the couch. He quickly snapped to, but when it happened again a few minutes later, his mother rushed him to the local emergency room.

There they learned that Michael was in real trouble. His heart was pumping out blood at just 25 percent, an alarmingly low rate. By the time he was transferred to Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha an hour later, it was down to 10 percent. A virus was causing acute myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle. If it got worse, he would need a heart transplant. With Michael’s family surrounding his bed, the doctors asked him to sign papers—while he still could—for that transplant. “They said I had only a 30 percent chance that my heart would recover,” 
Michael says. “I remember thinking, I can take those odds. I haven’t won the lottery yet, I’m Irish, I’m due for some luck. I was strangely calm.”

His doctors, however, were not. “His heart failure was so bad,” says his cardiologist, Eugenia Raichlin, MD. “The rate of mortality is huge.” They immediately hooked him up to an ECMO, an external heart and lung machine, to pump his blood while his heart couldn’t. But it was a short-term fix, and Michael’s health continued to 
decline. Spiking fevers led to convulsions; ice cooled him but dropped his oxygen levels. “It was a balancing game just to keep me stable,” Michael says. These are the heart health tips cardiologists follow themselves.

He desperately needed a heart transplant.

For 17 days they waited, while Michael’s condition continued to worsen. His heart stopped twice—once for an entire day (being hooked up to the ECMO machine prevented him from dying). Doctors had to fend off blood clots and excess bleeding.

At 6:30 in the morning on Labor Day, Michael’s doctors got the phone call everyone had been waiting for: A heart would be available that night. But a few hours later, they made a devastating discovery. Michael had developed a blood infection; a transplant would be too dangerous.

As Michael’s family despaired, Dr. Raichlin noticed something unusual: His blood pressure, which should have remained constant because of the heart-lung machine, was actually rising. She ordered a test, which revealed that the left side of his heart was working at near-normal capacity. Unbelieving, she ordered another. Again, the same astounding results.

After four days hooked up to a different machine that assisted only the right side of his heart, Michael no longer needed a transplant. His heart had completely, miraculously healed itself, his body eradicating the virus on its own. “He overcame everything,” Dr. Raichlin says. “He was very debilitated, but he rebuilt himself.”

Many patients with Michael’s condition die, or get a heart transplant, or survive but have permanent heart tissue damage. But today, as Michael works through his third year of pharmacy school, his heart is in perfect shape. “I’m so grateful that I got a second chance at life,” he says.

To read more on medical miracles click HERE.

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