How long can a human being survive intact without a heartbeat? In Taiwan, an event occurred that left medical experts astounded. This event went well beyond common medical sense and can only be described as a genuine miracle.
After 30 minutes with zero heartbeat, insufficient blood flow to the brain, and low levels of oxygen in the body tissues, this is medically recognized as end-of-life status. Yet, in this unique instance, following more than two unprecedented hours of continuous CPR by determined doctors and the medical team, a patient miraculously survived and resumed living an everyday life even more miraculously.
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Thirty years have passed, and Dr. Xu Changli, who attended the case, can still vividly recall the incident. Previously, he had never encountered a similar situation. Therefore, he specially submitted this unique experience to the journal Taiwan Medical Circle to share it with more people.
Against all odds
This miracle happened one afternoon during autumn more than 30 years ago. Dr. Xu was on duty in the hospital’s emergency room on this particular day. A 27-year-old man was electrocuted and fell to the ground at a construction site. His colleague immediately called an ambulance, but it took more than half an hour to arrive at the hospital. By then, the man was no longer breathing, and there was no heartbeat.
On examination, Dr. Xu thought to himself: “Oh my God! Insufficient blood flow to the brain and low levels of oxygen in the body tissues will have already led to the death of body tissues.”
He thought: “Even if the man could be renewed and resume his breathing and heartbeat, he could be in a vegetative state and bedridden for life.”
The man’s life was at stake and required urgent action before his family members arrived. Dr. Xu and his team quickly tried to resuscitate the man for 30 minutes. However, by then, there was no response from the man, and everyone began to lose hope.
She fell to her knees
At this time, a group of people rushed into the emergency room. The man’s pregnant wife was in front, holding a little boy in one hand and carrying a sleeping baby on her back.
Seeing her husband’s body and the medical staff busy trying to revive him, she looked at the doctor in pleading desperation and fell to her knees.
When Dr. Xu and the team saw the woman’s plight, they continued with their best efforts to resuscitate the man without saying a word. Precious minutes continued to pass by, every minute and second counted, but there was still no response after an hour.
The chief physician reminded everyone in the room that it had been an hour. Although feeling exhausted, the sight of the sad expression of the man’s wife made them determined to continue. So Dr. Xu and the chief physician took turns doing the external cardiac massage.
In Dr. Xu’s heart, he urged the patient: “Come back! Your wife and children are waiting for you to come home! Come back!” None of them wanted to give up and were determined to extend resuscitation. After another hour, the chief physician finally decided to stop, and a miracle suddenly occurred.
The ECG monitor suddenly registered a heart signal. Then, someone shouted: “He has come back! He has come back!” The emergency room suddenly burst into cheers. The man moved, and he was rushed to the intensive care unit after a while.
Dr. Xu said in the article that the two-hour resuscitation attempt record-breaking and the joy of saving a life were beyond words.
No signs of brain damage
A month later, Dr. Xu followed the chief of neurology to the outpatient clinic. He looked through the medical records and found that the discharged patient who walked into the clinic alone was the young man who had been resuscitated in the emergency room. Both doctors were in disbelief. But on examination, the man showed no signs of brain damage.
The neurologist told the patient: “Do you know this doctor has saved you?” The man softly said: “Thank you.” Then, he opened the door of the clinic. His wife, with a big belly, and his two young sons were waiting outside.
You have participated in and witnessed a miracle
Dr. Xu was still in doubt and asked the neurologist: “After 30 minutes of brain ischemia and hypoxia, and after two hours of resuscitation attempts, he can still move normally and be as good as ever?” The neurologist replied with a smile: “It’s a miracle. You have participated in and witnessed a miracle.”
The kind-heartedness of doctors who never give up and the reviving and saving of life in the healing process is a great joy and reward for the healer. What they save is not just a person, but an entire family!
They also restore hope for their worrying friends, colleagues, and neighbors. With impossible miracles like this, you realize there has to be a God.
Translated by Chua BC