His mother is certain that God had a hand in the boy’s healing…
His physician concurs that the survival narrative is nothing short of amazing…
“I am not going to deny that it feels like a wonder,” said Dr. Frank Maffei, manager of pediatric critical care at the Geisinger Medical Center. “I feel like there was an angel watching over the child.”
However, among the variables in the boy’s survival narrative, Maffei and other specialists said, the greatest was the icy waters into which Martin fell.
“This is a fantastic storyline … It was quite a heroic attempt by the team doing CPR. It deserves admiration. We enjoy to see stories in this way.”
When his mom could not locate the 22-month-old playing near their house, she frantically dialed 911. A neighbor found the boy, dead, caught in a tree branch with water running around and over him. The ambulance crew that arrived soon after that began CPR and ran Martin to the neighborhood community hospital.
The child’s core temperature was 77 degrees when he arrived. Eventually it grew to 90 and physicians chose to keep it there to assist in his healing. The next step was to attach Martin to a heart and lung machine, but first the physicians needed to check one last time to see whether his heart had began to beat on its own. The only way to do that was to briefly cease the CPR that was keeping him alive.
Maffei assessed the boy’s wrist for a pulse while Dr. Richard Lambert, the attending physician in the pediatric intensive care unit, assessed for a routine throbbing in the boy’s femoral artery. Maffei believed he felt something, but it was light. Lambert confirmed that he felt the same thing.
“I am not going to deny that it feels like a wonder.”
Surprisingly, his heart had started beating without assistance. During the early hours of the morning, one of the nurses found Martin had opened his eyes. To find out if he was actually conscious, she inquired, “Gardell, do you need us to go get mom?”
“What occurred next was amazing,” Maffei said. “He nodded his head,” the physician said. “At that stage we understood he wasn’t only a survivor but would even be neurologically complete.”
And, as an update, his mother later e-mailed Maffei a video. It showed Martin running around and playing with a large balloon.
“So long as they’re cold, they may often be returned to full life and wellness.”
“There are several times when individuals have been clinically dead, sometimes for hours,” he said. “So long as they’re cold, they may often be returned to full life and wellness.”
Freezing cold puts individuals in a state that’s nearly like suspended animation, Rittenberger described.
What is the longest time a man has been without a pulse? Abella imagines the record goes to a European girl, “who was entombed in an icy ravine on the ski slopes for two hours.” She had a complete recovery and is now a practicing doctor.
However, Abella regards Gardell Martin’s narrative to be “awesome.”
“This is a remarkable narrative,” Abella said. “It was quite a heroic attempt by the team doing CPR. It deserves admiration. We enjoy seeing stories end in this way.”