The phone call came last night. Damar Hamlin’s on-field cardiac arrest caused my patient to relive his own cardiac arrest, death, and rebirth. He called to thank me for bringing him back years ago.
Dying and being reborn doesn’t occur every day. Everything has to be just right. First, you need a witnessed event. My patient arrested in front of his wife. Next, the witness needs to call 911 and start CPR. Done! From this point, you need God’s intervention.
When I got to the ER, the patient had already been diagnosed as brain dead. He was in a decerebrate posture consistent with the diagnosis. I had read about something called the Artic Blanket. The hospital had a brand-new one sitting on a shelf in its original box. While the ER had bought it, they had never used it.
With nothing to lose, we instituted the Artic Protocol and prayed. The next day, my patient woke up. From brain dead to fully functional was indeed a miracle. Ten years later, he’s still doing well. His call couldn’t have come at a better time. Parkinson’s and my assorted medical problems have caused me to question my faith. My patient’s call and “thank you” reminded me that I was present at his miracle.
Since his call, I have replayed other miracles I witnessed during my years as a physician. Thank you for taking me on a ride down memory lane. I want to invite all of my former patients to share their stories with me and my readers. Just as my reading about the Artic Blanket saved a life, your stories may help others in unimaginable ways.
Here’s a story I used countless times in practice:
A farmer is in Iowa during a flood. The river is overflowing. Water is surrounding the farmer’s home up to his front porch. As he is standing there, a boat comes up. The man in the boat says, “Jump in, and I’ll take you to safety.”
The farmer crosses his arms and says stubbornly, “Oh, no thanks, I put my trust in God.” The boat goes away. The water rises to the second story. Another boat comes up. The man says to the farmer, who is now at the second floor window, “Hurry, jump in. I’ll save you.”
The farmer again says, “Oh, no thanks, I put my trust in God.”
The boat goes away. Now the water is inching over the roof. As the farmer stands on the roof, a helicopter comes over, and drops a ladder. The pilot yells down to the farmer, “I’ll save you. Climb the ladder.”
The farmer yells back, “Oh, no thanks, I put my trust in God.”
The helicopter goes away. The water continues to rise and sweeps the farmer off the roof into the swiftly moving water. Unfortunately, he drowns.
The farmer goes to heaven. God sees him and says, “What are you doing here?”
The farmer says, “I put my trust in you, and you let me down.”
God says, “What do you mean, let you down? I sent you two boats and a helicopter!”