MIRACLES THAT STUNNED DOCTORS
Most people don’t survive a dying heart or a brain-eating amoeba. These five were extraordinarily lucky
Five incredible stories of survival that astonished the medical world – and will leave you wondering.
She Was “Dead” for 45 Minutes They literally ran her back to the operating room.
Forty-year-old Ruby Graupera-Cassimiro had just had a completely normal C-section, giving birth to a beautiful baby girl on September 23 last year. But when her medical team moved her to the recovery room, she fell unconscious. Suddenly, Ruby – now a mother of two – was in full cardiac arrest.
Dr Jordan Knurr, her anaesthesiologist at Boca Raton Regional Hospital in Florida, US, immediately intubated Ruby so a machine could breathe for her. He called a code, and about a dozen other doctors and nurses crowded into the room, frantically giving advanced cardiac life support. “For more than two hours, she was having life-threatening heartbeats,” Dr Knurr says. Most scary was when Ruby had a pulseless rhythm – her heart was beating but not pumping any blood throughout her body – and doctors delivered constant CPR compressions for 45 minutes straight to try to get her heart working normally again.
After about two hours, her
doctors knew there was no hope. They brought her extended family into the room to say goodbye. After Ruby’s family returned to the waiting room, where they, along with a few nurses, frantically prayed on their knees for a different outcome, the doctors stopped pumping her chest. They were ready to call her time of death.
“I was seconds away from turning off the ventilation machine when one of the nurses shouted, ‘Stop!’” Dr Knurr says. “Without any medicine or CPR, Ruby’s heart began to beat on its own for the first time in two hours. It is just indescribable.”
It turned out that some amniotic fluid had leaked into the uterus and travelled through Ruby’s bloodstream and to her heart. Called an amniotic fluid embolism, it causes an air block in the heart and prevents blood from flowing. “These embolisms are rare, and we don’t know a lot about them,” Dr Knurr says. “Usually the patient passes away or has significant brain damage.” (Her doctors don’t know what happened to the amniotic debris; they assume it dissolved on its own.)
Not only did Ruby live, but “she is in perfect health. It’s almost as if this never happened,” says Dr Knurr. “It’s a miracle. I’m not a highly religious person, but you just don’t see this happen.” The next morning, Ruby’s breathing tube was removed. Four days later, she walked out of the hospital with her newborn daughter, Taily – without even a broken rib from all the chest compressions.
“Someone else was running the show that day; there’s no doubt in my mind,” Ruby says today. “I don’t know why God chose me, but I know he gave me this life again for a reason.”