Doctors Share The Most Miraculous Recoveries They've Ever Seen
Medical professionals have seen it all! The always have the craziest stories to share about how people survived the impossible and cases that seems to crazy to be true. These doctors share the most unbelievable stories you will ever hear.
Doctors of Reddit: what's the most miraculous thing you've ever seen?
It's amazing what a woman can do
One of my prior patients is a roofer who lived a very full life of alcohol, women, and drugs. He was infected with HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and was cirrhotic and didn't really care about his health at all. He was ghostly thin and weighed 110 lbs on a 6 foot frame, which included 20 lbs of ascites in his abdomen. He was angry and didn't listen to anyone, refusing therapy most of the time. I met him first in the ICU, where he had full blown AIDS, end-stage liver disease, hepatorenal syndrome, unexplained lymph nodes all over his body, variceal hemorrhage, Kaposi's sarcoma, and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. Prognosis of in hospital death was >90% even with therapy.
I was involved in his care for about 2 weeks and again he refused every therapy that his primary physicians suggested. I was surprised he lasted the 2 weeks. Finally, he was so fed up of the noisiness in the ICU that he requested transfer to palliative care, and was eventually sent to a hospice for patients with advanced HIV to live out his remaining few days.
One year later I get a call from the hospice requesting a follow-up appointment for him. I was shocked that he was still alive and asked if I could talk to him. He was all better. Turns out he had the hots for his nurse in the hospice and did everything she asked in order to please her -- including taking his medications for the first time! She had slowly nursed him back to health, convinced him to restart HIV meds, put him on a low salt diet for his liver disease, and then eventually got him up and mobile.
When you take the bullet
Kid got shot in the chest. Bullet bounced off from his sternum. Brought the bullet and on exam he had bruising /indentation where the bullet hit him. XR did show a small fracture too.
Anything is possible
I attended the delivery of an extremely premature baby. The baby was born surrounded by the amniotic sac completely intact! They put him on the warmer just floating there in a clear balloon of fluid. We had to manually rupture the sac and intubate the baby before he went to the NICU. The baby was stabilized and did just fine, but I will never forget that image.
Where there is a will there is a way
Stroke patient. One side of his body was paralyzed. He walked out less than a month later. No physiotherapy and no permanent damage. Guy is over 80.
When the battle is not over
Spontaneous regression of Stage 3 ovarian cancer recurrent to lungs 2 months after placement on hospice. That was 10 years ago. Pt is still disease-free!
A quick and full recovery
Had a guy come in found down on the street with a temp of 108. Exam in the ER claims no gag reflex, patient is hypotensive, gets intubated, labs are awful, in rhabdo, etc. Was pretty sure he was about to die. He was extubated within 2 days and left the hospital in less than a week with absolutely no issues. Renal function completely recovered, neurologically completely intact. I couldn't believe it.
Sewing together a heart and getting it to work.
I was an EMT for a while and we were a downtown Los Angeles unit. We would post at the original LAC-USC trauma center between calls which was awesome because they had an observation booth as it was a teaching hospital.
So one day my partner and I are chilling in the ambulance waiting for a call when another unit came in with a multiple gsw. To the chest and body. Well they ended up cracking this persons chest, a bilateral thoracotomy, and sewing together his heart and lungs as they were full of holes. As a side note 9mm was the worst to get shot by because it would bounce around inside your chest cavity and just mess you up. So anyway the lead trauma surgeon was working on this guy and got his heart all back together and while holding his heart, still in his chest, the doc injected epinephrine into the myocardial tissue. He waited a few seconds and then flicked his heart and it started to beat, while he was still holding it. Coolest thing I've ever seen.
Mom from the grave
Had a patient who came in for a normal vaginal delivery, except that she had no prenatal care because her husband "didn't believe in modern medicine." Everything was fine, and the patient was scheduled to go home the next day with her new baby. The nurse goes in around 8:30 at night to assess the mom and baby, and finds the mom slumped over in the bed, essentially dead. Not breathing, no pulse.
It got really crowded in that room really fast as they coded her. They did CPR for about 40 minutes, intubated her, and shipped her off to ICU. Her husband was called to come in, because he was at home with their SIX other children. We all thought for sure she was dead.
She woke up three days later and went home four days after that.
A wise woman
A diabetic woman arrived at the hospital with a foot ulcer. This patient was known for not properly following the necessary recovery care. One day the wounds infected and progressed to a severe case of grangrena. This woman refused to do the amputation surgery and said she would take care of it by herself.
A few weeks later she returns to the hospital with her foot almost healed. I couldn't believe this and I asked what she had done and she just told me: Don't even ask.
From dead to walking in two weeks
Worked in an ICU for a while. Guy's heart stopped on the floor and needed CPR. They got his pulse back and transferred him to me. Didn't even make it to the ICU before heart stopped again and needed CPR. Literally rolled in with a nurse riding in his bed giving chest compressions. We continue CPR and get his pulse back, but he looks bad and I max him out on 3 pressors (medication to keep blood pressure up) and he's still not looking good. I add a fourth even though at that point he's clearly not going to make it. I talk to his wife and say that I've done all I can do, so he either starts improving or he dies. In my head I know he's not going to make it.
Long story short: he walked out of there about 2 weeks later.
When you think your hand is a goner, think again!
I am a hand surgeon. I had a patient with severe trauma who's hand went through an industrial roller, and completely shattered every bone in his hand. Carpus was destroyed as well. Over the course of 4 operations, I was able to restore function and overall form, with moderate deformation. The only downside was an intermediate phalangial amputation I performed due to extensive shattering. Goes down as my favorite operation of all time. I'll never forget that guy's reaction when he learned he'd still be able to use his hand. Also props to his physiatrist who I worked closely with developing his rehab regimen. Unforgettable case.
When they survive the rupture
My 94 year old grandfather survived his appendix rupturing. I don't even know how, it was at the same time he had an infection in a part of the body that couldn't be operated on until his blood was thicker or something like that. He is pretty much a legend to me. Edit: For clarification, he survived the appendix rupture when he was 94, he is 95 now.
Who needs an aorta anyway!
Dude t-boned a truck on a motorcycle at high speeds and went flying. His aorta ripped out of his heart. He survived the surgery and later made a full recovery. One of the anesthesiologists later told me he got his entire blood volume replaced 10X during the surgery.
Recovery to the max
21 year old client of mine was hit twice by a car in five months while crossing the street. Just got back on his feet after the first one and got hit by the second one. Happened just before Thanksgiving. Doctors told family to get ready to pull the plug since it was unlikely he'd ever regain consciousness. Family was considering it when he came around. He was expected to be on a ventilator for the rest of his life. Couldn't talk only blink responses and move his lips. Two weeks later he's off the ventilator. Month later he's getting his trach tube removed. Now has regained some use of one arm, less on other, and can feel his legs. Going for surgery to get a stimulator to assist his leg recovery.
Nothing short of miraculous.
Don't do drugs
A guy who called 911 saying he had a squirrel in his chest. Five minutes later he called again and said that he'd gotten it out. They sent paramedics anyway and turns out the guy took a pair of scissors and cut open a very large part of his stomach. He was on some sort of drug at the time.
Whitchcraft at it's finest
A couple couldn't have children. They were examined both and there were no anomalies. Because the kid didn't come they tried insemination and everything. The wife broke down and told me her mother-in-law cursed her, when they married, so they couldn't have children. I was sympathetic, but I was just sorry for them and felt they needed some kind of explanation, when science failed. They tried to have children for 20 years. Mother-in-law died, and the wife was pregnant the same month. I was speechless and I'm rarely that happy for a patient.
At 10 years old, I was extremely far-sighted and wore glasses/contacts each day. One morning I woke up to the most intense pain I've ever experienced --- in both eyes. Every time I blinked or scrunched my eyes felt like burning or stabbing pains in the middle of my eyes. After a blind trip to the ER and dye in both eyes, we discover I have full corneal abrasions in both eyes. Basically, every time I blinked, it was if someone had taken a straight razor and scraped my corneas off. No suspected cause, no warnings. Doctors patch my eyes closed for a week. They come off for me to take eyedrops a couple of times a day. Fast forward a week: eye patches come off, corneas are fine. My eyes are so fine, in fact, that I have 20--15 vision. I've never needed glasses or contacts again.
Defying the odds
I knew a guy who while drunk driving drove off part of a cliff and was ejected through the windshield.
His spinal cord was apparently cut in half at the waist and the doctors tell him he will never walk again.
The guy is walking around a month later.
One of a kind story
Guy came in with a wound in his stomach, lifted up his shirt and there was a clean 1" hole going through his body. Looked like a lightsaber wound from star wars, and he was just barely limping. When we asked him what happened, he just said: "I was pushed into a pool of sharks equipped with freakin lazer beems".
I will never forget that day
Sometimes you just need some time away
Dude was paralyzed and couldn't walk, disappeared to some foreign country. Kathmandu, I think it was. Months later, I see him walking around like nothing happened, playing basketball even. Still got no idea what happened.