A case for “miracles”
A case for “miracles”

These stories will shock you. This is not an article for the squeamish, though. Some of these patients came very close to death. Modern medicine — and possibly just good luck or intervention from a higher power — made all the difference. Click Next to see some of the people who have been blessed with true medical miracles. Photo Credit: wildxplorer

Man survived 47-story plunge
Man survived 47-story plunge

Normally when you plummet from a high-rise building to the pavement, you do not live to tell the tale. As reported by The New York Times last year, though, one man survived such a fall: “Alcides Moreno plunged 47 stories that morning last month, clinging to his 3-foot-wide window washer’s platform as it shot down the dark glass face of an Upper East Side apartment building. His brother Edgar, who had been working with him, was killed when the platform landed. Yet somehow, Alcides Moreno survived.” Of course, he went through a number of surgeries and faces perhaps years of physical therapy — but doctors say he will walk again. Also extraordinary: when firefighters arrived at the scene of the accident, Moreno was sitting upright, semi-conscious. His doctors even described the whole thing as miraculous. As the Times reported: “’If you are a believer in miracles, this would be one,’ said Dr. Philip S. Barie, the chief of the division of critical care at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.” Indeed. While in the hospital, Moreno reportedly kept telling his wife it wasn’t his time to go. (Building he fell from pictured at left.) Photo Credit: Bing.com Maps / Microsoft Corp.

Very old mommy
Very old mommy

As reported by The Guardian, “Rajo Devi Lohan was 70 when she gave birth last November, making her the world's oldest known first-time mother. Her features are sharp and angular, her frame light and bony. And although when she stands up her back is bent, she holds her daughter with great tenderness.” Lohan and her husband had been praying “for decades” for a child. Maybe somebody was listening. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Healing magnet miracle
Healing magnet miracle

For those out there who swear by golfer’s bracelets and magnetic kneepads, maybe there is something to this “magnetic therapy” thing after all. As reported by the Daily Mail (UK), “A man who suffered brain damage in a car crash can speak again after doctors waved a magnet against his head while he was in a coma. Doctors believe the electromagnetic field encouraged nerve cells to send a 'wake-up' signal to the brain.” Photo Credit: Getty Images

Leeches to the rescue
Leeches to the rescue

As reported by ABC News (Australia), “Surgeons say it was a miracle that they managed to reattach the hand of a surfer who was mauled by a shark at Sydney's Bondi Beach.” Doctors used leeches on the 33-year-old shark attack victim to promote blood flow in the hand. His surgeons believe some function will be restored, although not all. Photo Credit: dm-set

Decapitation recovery
Decapitation recovery

As reported by Fort Worth’s CBS 11, “Jordan Taylor was in a car accident that separated his skull from his vertebrae.  Doctors call the injury an ‘orthopedic decapitation’ and at the time gave Jordan a one percent chance for survival. ‘It's a miracle. It's a miracle from God,’ said Jordan's mother, Stacey Perez.  ‘And it's a miracle of this hospital.’” Seems like this extraordinary miracle has caused one CBS reporter to, well, lose his or her head over it: “At Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth, Jordan shouldn't be playing air hockey. He shouldn't be moving. He shouldn't even be alive -- not after the type of injury he received. Three months ago Jordan was in a car wreck that nearly took his head off.” Listen, we get it. Really. It’s a miracle that he is still alive; even the most cynical doubter would have to file this one in the “miracle” folder. Also interesting: according to the patient’s mother, at one point “at least 20 churches” were praying for her son. Maybe crowdsourcing prayer does work. Photo Credit: adam_jones

If I only had a heart
If I only had a heart

As reported by Reuters last year, “An American teen-ager survived for nearly four months without a heart, kept alive by a custom-built artificial blood-pumping device, until she was able to have a heart transplant, doctors in Miami said...” Miracle? Sure it is, but we think this one has mostly medical science to thank, rather than the divine or sheer luck. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Spider power
Spider power

“He has been confined to a wheelchair for 20 years. Now a paraplegic man is walking again, and his doctors call it a miracle,” CBS 13 reported. Long story short: a brown recluse spider (very poisonous, kindly avoid them) bit the paraplegic man, David Blancarte, who was unable to feel his legs for two decades after a motorcycle accident. He went to the hospital for the bite and a nurse noticed his leg spasm. Five days later, he was walking again. Now, if you know someone who is partially paralyzed, this does not mean you should throw a brown recluse spider on them. Blancarte’s case appears to be unique. Photo Credit: Thomas Shahan

Held together by rods
Held together by rods

Modern medical ingenuity has allowed a young model to get back on her feet — and back to the runway. As reported by the Daily Mail, “Katrina, 17, was told by doctors she may never walk again after surviving a 70mph car crash with a broken neck and back, and a catalogue of other injuries. But after being put back together with 11 metal rods and enough pins and screws to send an airport security detector into overdrive, Katrina has now been signed up by a modelling agency.” Photo Credit: Claus Rebler

No need to choose
No need to choose

As reported by 9 News in Colorado, “Shannon and Mike Gimbel faced an agonizing choice. Doctors told them one of the twin girls they were expecting needed to be terminated or both would die.” Luckily, the physicians involved thought outside the box — they performed “laser surgery in the womb to cauterize the blood vessels that were connecting, and slowly killing, the twins.” The twins’ mom is reportedly quite thankful for the unorthodox in-womb laser surgery: “’I cherish every single moment with them,’ Shannon said. ‘Three o'clock in the morning with two screaming babies really isn't that bad.’ ‘Just seeing them grow, seeing them smile, seeing them develop and change, and holding them close, it's fantastic,’ Mike said.” Photo Credit: Getty Images

Huge knife in his skull
Huge knife in his skull

It has been reported that Michael Hill holds the Guinness World Record for "Largest Object Removed From Human Skull". A dubious and unwanted distinction, to be sure, but Hill survived a knife attack "with a 20 cm (8 in) survival knife on April 25, 1998." He walked to a neighbor’s house after the attack and remained conscious, despite a massive knife lodged in his grey matter. The injury has led to memory loss and the loss of functionality in his left hand. Hill’s story was featured on the TLC network’s Trauma: Life in the E.R. program. Photo Credit: Getty Images

No brain waves for 17 hours
No brain waves for 17 hours

As reported by FoxNews.com, a West Virginia woman has been “called a medical miracle after she suffered two heart attacks and had no brain waves for more than 17 hours” before becoming conscious again. She went into rigor mortis as well. She was very much dead. “I know God has something in store for me, another purpose,” she reportedly said. Photo Credit: digitalbob8

Malik in Afghanistan
Malik in Afghanistan

CNN reported on the good fortune of Malik, a young Afghan boy who fell off a cliff and hit his head, causing blunt trauma. U.S. Special Forces transported him by “cover of night” to a military surgical hospital, putting themselves in harm’s way to save him. Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Sole survivor of plane crash
Sole survivor of plane crash

To round out our miracles article, we present you with one more. And yes, we admit it isn’t really a medical miracle — just an old-fashioned miracle. As reported by The Guardian earlier this year, “A 14-year-old girl may be the sole survivor from an Airbus A310-300 jet from Yemen carrying 153 people that crashed into the Indian Ocean off the Comoros islands early yesterday. Local officials said last night that the girl had been plucked from the sea after the plane went down in bad weather following a second aborted landing attempt at the international airport in Moroni, the capital of the archipelago. Three other bodies were reported to have been recovered.” It just wasn’t her time. Photo Credit: motograf

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