February 28, 2017

Medical miracles and Back from the Brink

Miraculous recovery attributed to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

In 2011, Kevin Becker fell from the second floor of a house he shared with a couple of college roommates, fracturing his skull in five places and damaging every lobe of his brain. After an emergency operation he lay stable but unresponsive for nine days. The doctors thought he wouldn’t live; and if he did he would suffer from gross cognitive deficits.

A week after his injury, the doctors were talking of putting him into a medically induced coma, a last-ditch effort. Days later he opened his eyes, and was soon speaking, standing, and walking normally.  Less than three weeks after his injury he was wheeled to the door of the hospital, where he stood up, slung his bag over his shoulder, and walked to the car … tossing a football with his brother.

Infant Who Survived in 1920s Sideshow Incubator Dies at 96

 Lucille Horn
Lucille Horn in 2015

Lucille Conlin Horn weighed barely two pounds when she was born, a perilous size for any infant, especially in 1920. Doctors told her parents to hold off on a funeral for her twin sister who had died at birth, expecting she too would soon be gone.  But her life spanned nearly a century after her parents put their faith in a sideshow doctor at Coney Island who put babies on display in incubators to fund his research to keep them alive.

Horn was among thousands of premature babies who were treated in the early 20th century by Dr. Martin Couney. He was a pioneer in the use of incubators who sought acceptance for the technology by showing it off on carnival midways, fairs and other public venues. He never accepted money from their parents, but instead charged oglers admission to see the tiny infants struggling for life.

 Sideshow Incubators

Couney, who died in 1950 and is viewed today as a pioneer in neonatology, estimated that he successfully kept alive about 7,500 of the 8,500 children that were taken to his "baby farm" at the Coney Island boardwalk. They remained there until the early 1940s, when the incubators became widely used in hospitals.

Touching moment little boy battling meningitis awoke from a two-week coma with a big grin for his mom

Pierce Robinson, 21 months, started having seizures earlier this month before being rushed into the ICU.  The little boy has been fighting meningitis at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston and was brought out of a 12 day induced coma last week

Pierce, hooked up to heart monitors and a breathing tube, managed to smile at his parents as his mother sang 'itsy bitsy spider crawled up the waterspout'.  He will undergo therapy so he can learn to walk, talk and eat again on his own


Snowboarder escapes avalanche and captures the terrifying video on his helmet cam.

Snowboarder Greg Hugunin dropped into Marmot Mountain in Hatcher's Pass January 2, 2015 with a false sense of security about the stability of the snow pack. Soon after he heard a crack and saw a minor avalanche behind him.  He escaped death because he was wearing a recent birthday present, an avalanche airbag backpack which appears to have helped push the stricken snowboarder to the surface.

Brother Skis Off Cliff To Save Brother In Avalanche.  A GoPro camera captures the dramatic rescue.

The ‘human miracles’ whose bodies remain a mystery to doctors

A man who swims naked in Arctic seas, a girl born with her heart on the outside of her chest, a boy with unbreakable bones. Incredible but true – and just a few of the one-in-a-million cases helping to educate scientists and aid medical research to benefit millions of people, a groundbreaking BBC2 series has revealed. 

Incredible Medicine meets dozens of ‘human miracles’ who have survived crippling diagnoses or live with severe deformities or whose bodies remain a mystery to doctors. Like Wim Hof who claims his ability to withstand freezing conditions is due to 'meditation' and breathing techniques, enabling him to control his body’s autonomous hormonal responses. 

The 57-year-old Hof, who is able to spend nearly two hours in an ice bath and emerge unharmed, was tested by researchers at Radboud University Medical Centre in the Netherlands as part of research into the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Hof was injected with endotoxin, a substance that tricks the body into thinking it is under bacterial attack.

He should have developed a fever and flu-like symptoms but did not, so researchers concluded that there may be truth to his claims about his ability to suppress his automatic immune response. Scientists hope that by studying his methods they may be able to discover new treatments for diseases such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis and eczem.
Posted by Jill Fallon at February 28, 2017 11:35 AM | Permalink