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Toddler Revived by 101 Minutes of CPR After Nearly Drowning in Creek

A boy on a skateboard

© Nina Maiores / CC

http://pixabay.com/en/users/Nina-81-147114/

Mark Stricherz - published on 03/20/15

Mother called son's recovery "an act of God"

A 22-month old Pennsylvania boy was revived by 101 minutes of CPR after he fell into a snow-covered creek, according to the Associated Press. Gardell Martin’s recovery was “an act of God,” his mother told the news agency.

AP described Martin’s ordeal this way:

Gardell and two of his brothers had gone outside to play on March 11 when he fell into the stream that runs through their 5-acre property near Mifflinburg and was swept away by the fast-moving current. His 7-year-old brother, Greg, ran into the house and screamed that he couldn’t find Gardell.

Their mother, Rose Martin, did a quick search of the property before realizing her young son had likely fallen into the creek, which was swollen because of melting snow. She called 911 while her two teenage daughters began walking downstream in a frantic search for the toddler.

A neighbor found Gardell nearly a quarter-mile away, caught up in a tree branch and water gushing around him.

An ambulance crew arrived moments later, found no pulse and began CPR. Resuscitation would continue, unbroken, for 101 minutes — in the ambulance, at a community hospital, aboard a medical helicopter and, finally, in the emergency room of Janet Weis, the pediatric wing of Geisinger Medical Center, where a team of some 30 doctors and nurses sprang into action.

Gardell’s body temperature was 77 degrees when he arrived, more than 20 degrees below normal. In this case, the boy’s profound hypothermia worked to his advantage, dramatically slowing his metabolism and giving his organs "some degree of protection from cardiac arrest," Maffei said.

Knowing that, Maffei ordered CPR to continue while the team slowly warmed his body. At around 82 degrees, they detected a pulse.

Then his heart restarted.

Hours later, Gardell regained consciousness — and his brain function was normal, stunning doctors.

"It was an act of God," said his grateful mother, Rose Martin. "There is no doubt in my mind it’s a miracle. God had the right people in the right place at the right time and they all did a wonderful job."

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