Life is beautiful and can be full of miracles on the daily. Now I know in this day and age, especially in the year 2020, hope in miracles is a difficult concept to believe in but try, they keep happening. Medical miracles occur regularly, or maybe science is just that certain. Who knows? Every once and awhile people pull a Lazarus. You can be on the brink teetering towards the end and suddenly, a turnaround. Proof that our bodies alone are a miracle. So keep the faith.Redditor u/poetsnaps wanted doctors and medical staff to give us some hope about life by asking.... [Serious] Doctors of Reddit, what unexplainable miracles have you seen in your profession?
Awake and in painsnakes miracle GIF Giphy
Had a woman who was practically unresponsive for days, no sign of improvement, deemed to be end of life.
Arranged discharge to a hospice for end of life care, ambulance arrived and transferred her.
Less than an hour after arriving at the hospice she woke up and asked one of the nurses there for a can of fosters.
Eventually went home and lived for a few years after.
Another one, not really a miracle but it scared the hell out of me: I had been off sick with the good old D+V, first shift back we had a new patient arrive a few hours into shift.
Started admitting him, paperwork and so on. Part way through he told me to stand up, looked at me for a while and said "that stomach pain you have been having - I thought it might be your appendix but you had that taken out as a kid in Scotland, never mind."
I did have it removed when I was on holiday in Ayre - yay butlins!
Stayed as far away from him as I could after that.
Sealed With a Kiss
Nurse here. When I was a new grad there was this young woman who had a severe brain bleed to the point that we removed two skull flaps to relieve pressure. She had a really bad prognosis. Her husband always was at her side and kissed her every day even though she was unresponsive. One day she kissed him back. I happened to be in the room hanging a med when it happened. It was her first purposeful movement after her stroke. She ended up making a pretty great recovery last I heard. Walking and talking. Came back to visit us with her husband. Will never forget it.
On a Walk
As a student nurse I did a placement on a Neuro floor. Had a guy who had had a sever stroke. Aphasia (jumbled words) and 3 x assist with a hoist. Late one evening dude walked past the nurses station like nothing had happened, my preceptor carefully followed him and asked what he was doing. He said "oh just going for a walk" like it was no problem. We followed him around the ward for a bit and then he went back to bed.
The next day he was back to being a full assist. The guys wife said he would go for a walk every evening before the stroke. The doctors think it must of been muscle memory or some other part of the brain driving him (I'm not sure maybe a Neuro person could explain, I'm a cardiac nurse now! Haha).
In the ICU
I am an ENT surgeon. During my post-graduation we were just winding up at 2 o'clock a busy OPD, the senior resident of ob's hospital came rushing on a scooter to get us. As theOPD was locked the phone was no reply and it was the year 1989. Turned out that a full term woman was taken for caesarean under spinal anesthesia and was later given general anesthesia in which a breathing tube was required to be inserted through the mouth/nose into the airway. But she hid the fact while giving history that due to a childhood injury, her mouth opening was just one finger. So it was impossible to go through mouth and a blind insertion through nose wasn't working. (No flexible endoscope at that time).
So they called us to do a tracheostomy (making a hole in airway at the front of neck) through which the tube could be inserted. Meanwhile the only oxygen that the pt could get was through mask. Tracheostomy is a 1 mt procedure in emergency but it was easier said than done. The pt was repeatedly arresting and they would do CPR and the moment we began our work, there would be cardiac arrest again. This happened 5-6, times. Ultimately we succeeded in inserting the tube. It seemed a futile exercise to me. Pt.
Was shifted then to the ICU. The next morning i had a call of some other pt from ICU and went there. A woman came and said, thank you so much, my daughter is fine now! I didn't understand then I went to the bed no. She told me and the pt. Was there, conscious, obeying commands, with no hypoxic damage to brain despite a series of terrifying cardiac arrests. Her daughter from caesarean was also fine and healthy (of course she was delivered before the cardiac arrests.)
I'm an RN, not a doctor. I worked in dialysis for almost five years. People who have acute renal failure (somehow injured the kidney, kidneys got messed up due to an illness, stuff like that) will sometimes get better and be just fine. Chronic renal failure patients (kidneys just get worn out, usually from diabetes and/or high blood pressure) don't get better. Between my main clinic and floating to other clinics over the years I've cared for hundreds and hundreds of patients. Chronic renal patients don't get better.
I got into dialysis because my kidneys were failing and I wanted to know what I was in for. I'd had diabetes for 24 years and high blood pressure for a couple. I was very much a chronic patient. My doctor said I had five, maybe ten years before I'd be on dialysis and looking for a transplant. That was twelve years ago and somehow my kidneys are better today than when I first got diagnosed. The only thing I, or any of the doctors I worked with, can guess is that being in the dialysis center scared my body into somehow fixing them so we don't end up there.
Doctor here. I've seen a good handful of miraculous turnarounds, but the one that stuck with me is a little different.
I was a medical student, and an elderly gentleman had come in with a worsening of his heart disease. Neither the patient or the cardiac surgeons were thrilled with the idea of surgery. So we were treating him medically the best we could, but he wasn't making much progress. While talking with him one afternoon, I discovered that his wife was also very sick, and also hospitalized.
Because hers was an autoimmune problem, and his was a cardiac problem, they were kept apart in two different hospital units. So, we asked around and got approval to transfer his wife up to the cardiac unit into a shared room with her sweetheart. They were both so ill that they couldn't get out of bed, so we pushed them together. After they all got set up, everybody left to do their paperwork, but I stuck around and talked to them for a bit.
They shared with me that they had been married for nearly 70 years, and bragged about each other, and how grateful they were to have shared their lives with each other. They held hands across their hospital beds and expressed a profound contentment with their time on earth.
The following day, I went to check on them on early morning pre-rounds, but the room was empty. The overnight nurse explained that they had fallen asleep holding hands, and both had passed away in the night.
NailedSick Germany GIF by UpReach Giphy
Medical assistant here. I saw a nail go through a guy's thumb and to the other side. Glove included. As we were workman's comp/urgent care and he wasn't severely bleeding, we got an X-ray before we sent him to the ER. The nail was a hairline away from the bone.
His story, paraphrased and in English (he spoke Spanish): "I was using a nail gun at work. I turned off the safety to move quickly and my dumb butt forgot to move my hand."
The X-ray was freaking awesome.
The Untold Science
It happened to me a lot of times as a medic. But we, as the doctors, have to attribute it to some physical, explainable circumstance. Problem is: our scientific community is very cropped, very narrow sighted and arrogant. There is an untold paradigm: "Anything that happens but I don't understand, didn't happen or must be converted to something I can explain", instead of accepting our science is limited and we (humans), at our current level, cannot understand or explain certain things. Current science doesn't like to expand; the scientists who are revolutionary explorers of the unknown are mistreated, marginalized and are not financed.
Miracle with a Catch....
I was a CNA. For three years I broke my back moving this women in and out of her wheel chair to bed and vice versa. And you know how some people just seem to be heavier than others, even though they are the same size. BACK BREAKING WOMAN SHE WAS. One night I am doing rounds. Making sure no is falling out of bed in this nursing home. Norma had gotten herself out of bed and walked over to roommate and was suffocating her with a pillow because she was a constant screamer. I saved a life that night.
Life is MessyTelevision Doctor GIF Giphy
I'm a doctor. I've seen unlikely things, but unlikely is not impossible. So of course I will see unlikely things.
In terms of explanations, loads of things happen I can't totally explain. Good and bad. That's medicine, we don't know everything. I worry a lot about questions like this because it assumes medicine (or science) has some kind of near total knowledge, which is not true. Ie. It assumes that most things are perfectly explained, but instead run the best or most likely odds of certain things happening and if something happens that is less likely then so be it.
We know lots and lots but we do not know everything. And that is fine! We are constantly learning and trying to advance our knowledge.
That's where all these probabilities come from. Life is messy, things go unexpected ways all the time. That isn't the same as something being unexplained.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.