In an extraordinary survival story, a 22-month-old Pennsylvania boy whose lifeless body was pulled out of an icy creek was brought back to life after 101 minutes of CPR. Miraculously, the child has suffered no lasting effects.
The child, Gardell Martin, returned home from the hospital on Sunday after his doctors said on the previous Thursday that he had made a full recovery.
Dr. Frank Maffei, the director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, called the boy’s recovery “extraordinary”. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. A 22-month-old Pennsylvania boy whose lifeless body was pulled out of an icy creek was brought back to life after a 101 minutes of CPR (image source: ABC).
Dr. Maffei said:
It’s not only extraordinarily rare that we got the kid back, but what’s even more extraordinary is the rate at which he recovered and the completeness of his recovery. The stars and moon aligned, and he had an angel on his shoulder.
Gardell and two of his brothers were playing on March 11 when the toddler fell into the stream which runs through his family’s 5-acre property near Mifflinburg, Pennsylvania, and was quickly swept away by the fast-moving current.
The boy’s seven-year-old brother, Greg, ran into the house, screaming that he couldn’t find Gardell.
2. The child’s mother, Rose Martin, said: “There is no doubt in my mind it’s a miracle” (image source: ABC).
The boys’ mother, Rose Martin, quickly searched the property and soon realized that her young son had probably fallen into the creek, which was swollen due to the melting snow.
Martin called 911 while her two teen daughters started walking downstream, searching for their brother.
A neighbor found the boy nearly a quarter of a mile away, caught up in a tree branch, with water gushing around him.
An ambulance crew arrived shortly afterward, but found no pulse. The paramedics began CPR and their efforts continued for 101 minutes — in the ambulance, then at a community hospital, aboard a medical helicopter and, eventually, in the emergency room of Janet Weis, the pediatric wing of Geisinger Medical Center. A team of about 30 doctors and nurses then took over.
3. Dr. Frank Maffei (pictured), the director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville, called the boy’s recovery “extraordinary” (image source: ABC).
The toddler’s body temperature had fallen to 77 degrees by the time he arrived at the emergency room, more than 20 degrees below the normal body temperature.
However, in this case the child’s hypothermia worked to his advantage, as it dramatically slowed his metabolism, giving his organs “some degree of protection from cardiac arrest”, Dr. Maffei explained.
With that in mind, Dr. Maffei ordered the CPR to continue while his team slowly warmed Gardell’s body. When his body temperature reached around 82 degrees, the medics detected a pulse.
And then finally the boy’s heart restarted. Hours later the child regained his consciousness and his brain was functioning normally, which stunned doctors.
The child’s mother, Rose Martin, said:
It was an act of God. There is no doubt in my mind it’s a miracle. God had the right people in the right place at the right time and they all did a wonderful job.
4. A toddler is revived after having no pulse for almost two hours.
Dr. Richard Lambert, the attending physician in the pediatric intensive care unit, explained that Gardell belonged in a “rare, rare, extreme category for recovery”.
A week after the incident, the medical team is still in high spirits. Dr. Lambert said:
[It] provides us with a smile on our face, knowing you were part of something this wonderful and amazing.
Meanwhile, Gardell is able to walk back at his home, though he still needs to regain some of his balance. However, he has no memories of the incident. His mother said:
It’s hard to tell how much he remembers or knows about what happened. He can’t really tell us in that way.
Source: KIRO TV.
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