Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009
September 2008 the then 2 year old Oluchi Nwaubani fell into a swimming pool in London. At that time of year the water was freezing cold.
By the time she was rescued she had been under water for at least 18 minutes. Serious and extensive brain damage normally sets in after just 5 minutes without oxygen.
Paramedics were unable to start Oluchi breathing again. A medvac helicopter rushed her to the Royal London hospital where doctors gave her a 2% of surviving.
“For days we were thinking is she going to live or is she going to die.
Doctors were telling us she was never going to pull through.
They said that if she had not started breathing again in six hours she would probably not survive.
Six hours went by and when the doctors discussed turning off the machine we asked them to hold on.
Three days later my daughter suddenly started breathing again.
The doctors said she would never pass urine again because her kidney failed. But she is passing urine normally now.
They said she would not be able to talk anymore, she would not walk again – she would be a vegetable.
But she is walking, she is eating normally and she is able to say what she wants.
The doctors said that the amount of time she spent in the water meant she would never recover but when I asked her to say ‘hello’ to the doctor she tried to speak. And then I asked her to wave goodbye and she moved her hand.
Her doctor said he couldn’t believe what he had just witnessed. Staff were calling her a miracle baby.
She seems to have defied doctors at every stage.
It was hard to explain to her sisters that she was alive because they had seen her die at the pool.
It has been a difficult time for us but the support we received from friends and family has helped us make it through.”
— Junior Nwaubani, Oluchi’s father
Doctors now believe her survival was due to a combination of the diving reflex, which slows down the body’s metabolism and need for oxygen, and the very cold temperature of the water which would have protected the brain from more extensive damage.
“It was really almost a miracle that this child has a normal recovery.
Some young children, particularly babies, have a special reflex that they had when they were in utero called the diving reflex. It essentially slows the body’s metabolism down to almost nothing, so they almost need no oxygen for the brain cells to survive.”
— Dr. Vinay Nadkarni, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
To Toya, her mother, the details matter a lot less.
“She shouldn’t be here, but she is.
There’s still room for recovery. She’s still on a road to recovery.
I’ve said it’s not a miracle instantly, it’s a miracle over time.”
— Toya Nwaubani
Monday, Jan. 26, 2009
This 23 year old driver from Germany had a miracle escape from certain death, if you ask me.
Going at very high speed he lost control of his car and veered off the road.
Breaking through a road barrier he then hit a bank which launched the car in a 35 meter high arc. The trajectory had his car crash into the roof of a church.
The roof is 7 meters up.
The man had to be rescued from his car by crane as the car remained stuck in the roof of the church.
Although the young man is badly injured, he did survive the crash.
Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2008
A 53-year-old mother from the UK has merit jealously recovered from a two-week coma after a car accident in which she suffered such severe injuries that doctors expected her to die.
Carol Beaumont, a home care assistant, was hit by a car as she crossed the road after visiting an elderly patient.
“I remember being terrified and fighting off the paramedics as they tried to put a neck brace on me. After that, it is a complete blank.
The next thing I knew was waking up in Huddersfield Royal Infirmary the next day with my daughter Laura there.
It is the first time I have ever been in hospital as a patient but everyone there was wonderful to me.
If it hadn’t been for them and my friends and family who have constantly been coming round, all this would have been so much harder.
Laura’s been great, helping me around the house. It even hurts putting the dishwasher on.
Everything hurts, everything aches, but I know I am really lucky.
All my family have told me how close I came to dying. It is a miracle I’m okay and it is still sinking in, even now. I’m still very shaky and it hurts to move.
I’ve been given two Zimmer frames by the hospital. I feel like I’m about 96.”
— Carol Beaumont
The accident that left Mrs. Beaumont with a fractured skull and pelvis and a chipped spine.
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008
March this year Steve code was working on his tractor. He was clearing the way for fans, pushing bushes and small trees out of the way.
A large six-inch lights, 7 foot long link broke loose and hits the format.
Striking him hard on the right side of this hat, internally it calls the brain to hit against the left side of his skull. This is fairly damaged areas in the brain that control speech and memory.
The damage was so extensive he was unable to recognize his family.
Unlike his ordinary routine state trooper Ray Hall was the trolling close to Steve foods property that day. All recognized how serious the situation was. He called in a helicopter crew, using his GPS to bring the helicopter in.
Just days before a helicopter flight crew had met with state troopers to talk about procedures for calling them in directly in situations like this.
Steve’s been nine days in the critical care unit. His wife and state troopers kept guard.
When he came by he was transferred to the Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson. About 10 days into his stay there, something just clicked.
His speech still weak he began asking questions.
Just a week later he was able to put on his uniform by himself and attend the ceremony where Gov. Haley Barbour honored his friend state trooper Ray Hall.
His subsequent rehabilitation when Sophos you started to beat the therapies that the rehab games.
Now, eight months later, Steve has bought back on the road as a state Highway Patrol trooper.
Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008
A nation-wide campaign in the United Kingdom, aims to honor the heroes of premature babies: doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, helpers, and others who toil to save the lives of these feather light special care babies.
The children’s charity Baby Lifeline is behind the campaign. Through their MUM (Maternity Unit Miracles) Awards they hope to honor the unsung heroes of premature babycare.
“Having a baby can be a worrying time, and if there are problems all parents want to know they are in the best hands.
When the odds of life or death are stacking up, the care and expertise on offer can make the world of difference.
That’s why charity Baby Lifeline wants to champion the work of dedicated professionals committed to helping those who don’t always get the best start in life.”
— Judy Ledger, founder
The campaign has received unexpected support form a television star. Kate Ford, herself prematurely born at 4 lbs. and who starred in the popular TV serie Coronation Street, is backing the campaign.
“Giving birth is hard but it’s just as hard for midwives who work round the clock to give the best care possible.
You feel so vulnerable but a good midwife makes you feel safe.
The people who work in these units are unsung heroes and if anyone has had a positive experience giving birth, whether premature or not, this is their chance to say ‘thank you’ for all the fantastic work the staff do.”
— Kate Ford
Tuesday, Jul. 15, 2008
Three times he pulled the trigger, three times the gun apparently jammed. A Manchester businessman narrowly escaped death yesterday when a gunman held him up outside his home in Christiana, stole a bag containing more than $1 million and then tried to shoot him.
“He (the gunman) pointed a gun at me and I heard three clicks, which meant that he tried to fire three shots. But the gun jammed,” the businessman, whom The Gleaner has chosen not to identify, said yesterday.
Mercy of God
“I believe in God and he is the only reason I am here now because I could have been lying in the morgue.”
He added: “I was opening my garage to leave my house, so I put my bag down with my bank lodgements. I then heard a voice saying, ‘Give me the bag! Give me the bag!’ The man who was behind me then grabbed my bag and ran off. While running, he pointed a gun at me and I heard the three clicks.”
The robber later ran into a nearby gully with the bag containing about $1.3 million.
The store operator believes he was the victim of a well-orchestrated plan.
He said the execution of the plan began about 6:30 a.m. when he observed a green Nissan motor car parked some distance from his home.
“I was looking at the car through my window and a man came out and flew his bonnet like he was repairing something. He did this for over an hour and then he drove off to the top of the road like he was waiting.”
After which, the store operator decided to leave home, which was when he was attacked.
No plans to relocate
The Mandeville businessman’s miraculous survival comes just over a week after corporate Jamaica loudened its cry against crime, proposing drastic measures to curb the violence affecting the nation.
The businessman said this was the second time he had fallen victim to robbers, but noted he had no thoughts of moving.
“I have been living in this community since 1983 and have been operating my store for 25 years now, and I am not planning to move right now,” he said. “What I would love to see is greater police vigilance in the community.”
The police have so far taken statements from the businessman, but no arrests have been made.
“I haven’t heard anything else from them since this morning, no arrests or anything,” he said.
Thursday, Jul. 10, 2008
A six-year-old girl remains hospitalized in serious condition after she fell off a tractor last week and was caught under the machine’s mower, according to family members.
Jessie Keaton was riding a tractor last Tuesday afternoon when her father, Jason Keaton, was apparently distracted by his five-year-old son, Jason, who was also on the vehicle while Keaton was operating the bush hog. The boy was not injured.
Brenda Jester, Jessie’s aunt, described the accident, which occurred around 3:30 p.m. She spoke Monday night with Jason Keaton and the girl’s mother, Loretta Lynn McGee.
“He told me that it all happened in a blink of an eye,” Jester said.”All he remembers is that the tractor had run over her and she was under the bush hog . . . The little brother saw that. He was talking to his daddy and got him distracted . . . They were just about done for the day. It just happened so fast.”
Keaton immediately jumped off the tractor on his property off U.S. 601 South near the Davie/Yadkin county lines and called 911. Emergency first responders, including members of the Courtney Volunteer Fire Department and the Yadkin County EMS, rushed to the scene. Although critically injured, Jester said that Jessie was still conscious.
She remains at Brenner Children’s Hospital in Winston-Salem where Jester said she had undergone several operations. Jester said that doctors, despite their best efforts, were forced to amputate Jessie’s right leg below the knee, and part of her left ring finger. Doctors, who have kept the girl heavily sedated for most of her hospital stay, were also tending to a large cut to the back of her head, Jester said.
“The worst of it is over,” Jester said. “She has another surgeryscheduled for Thursday. Her left foot is still a little iffy and her hands had real bad cuts on the palms . . . But she is really improving. She was more alert and hungry this morning before she went into surgery. Right now, it’s just a waiting game. We just hope it continues to get better.”
Jester said that the father is inconsolable.
“He’s been there at the hospital nonstop. But he’s blaming himself,” Jester said. “He always had the young-ins with him in the yard when he was working. It was a habit; not a good habit.”
Jessie’s mother, Jester said, is undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
“She’s holding up pretty good,” Jester said. “She has not leftthe hospital.”
The family has medical insurance. But there’s no way to estimate how long and costly Jessie’s hospital stay will be.
“It’s just like anything else,” Jester said. “It will only pay so much.”
Zola Murphy, Jessie’s grandmother, was emotionally devastated when she first learned of the accident. She said that she still can’t get the terrible image of her granddaughter’s near-death experience out of her mind.
“I’ve done cried all I can cry,” Murphy said Monday. “She’s justa little miracle girl.”
Jester said that the family has been overwhelmed by the community’s response. So many have telephoned or visited the hospital, she said.
“The people have come down here left and right,” Jester said.”All of my prayers are working. Jessie is doing so much better today.”
The fact that John Seville can tell this story is incredible.
“Once I found out I did die, it was extremely terrifying,” the 41-year-old New Jersey police officer said.
Seville was in his garden three months ago when he felt something terribly wrong.
“My legs felt cold. It felt like I had snow blindness,” he said.
Minutes after arriving at this hospital, Seville went into cardiac arrest; he flat-lined, no heartbeat.
“At that particular point in time, he’s dead. The question is: Is he going to remain dead,” Morristown Memorial Hospital Heart Dr. James Slater said. “He’s fallen off the cliff. We reach, we grab, we pull him back.”
Injecting medications started Seville’s heart again. However, doctors discovered another emergency: A deadly tear in his aorta, the major blood vessel in the body. A five-and-a-half hour operation repaired that blood vessel, but by now, many of his organs were failing, including his brain.
Three days after the surgery, the patient was only minimally conscious, paralyzed on his left side and making a little progress.
“He was on a ventilator, and I was afraid he would never be off of it,” Seville’s wife, Connie, said.
That’s when Connie 40 weeks pregnant with their second child went into labor. In that very same hospital, two floors down Levi Seville was born. Within hours, Connie decided this baby might hold the key to her husband’s recovery.
“The nursery brought the baby down with Connie and held him up to his face,” nurse Vicky Dunn said. “And he just cracked the biggest smile on his face. The unit got quiet, and then you just heard people crying. It was a beautiful sight. Then we just knew: He’s gonna make it.”
For the next several weeks, John’s recovery amazed even his doctors. Day by day, he gained strength and lost most of the paralysis.
Finally, it was time to head home. With a “thank you” to his doctors and nurses the Sevilles were soon back together again.
“Just to be able to come home and hug them, and just say ‘I love you,'” John said. “For a while there, you never know if you’re going to have that opportunity. It ‘s incredible.”
Wednesday, Jul. 9, 2008
‘A Miracle Baby’ were the best words to describe little Cherie Maguire when she was born in 1990 weighing only 26ozs! Despite an amazing struggle to survive, the now very healthy Enniskillen girl has never looked back. She has just completed her A-levels at St Fanchea’s College and this week, celebrated her 18th birthday.
“Now is a time for reminiscing I suppose,” Cherie’s mother Geraldine told the ‘Herald’ this week.
“And back in those days, you would never have thought Cherie would make 18 at all because it was so touch and go.”
When Cherie, the daughter of Geraldine and Jimmy from Glenwood Gardens, was first delivered at the Jubilee Maternity Unit in Belfast, she fitted neatly into the palm of her mother’s hand while her father could easily slip his wedding ring onto her leg.
It was an anxious and stressful time for Jimmy and Geraldine, and Cherie’s older sister Melissa. The family had lost a baby girl also delivered at 29 weeks, nine months previously, and when problems developed with this pregnancy, consultants at the Erne took the decision to transfer Geraldine to the Royal Maternity Unit. However, when doctors there examined Geraldine they realised Cherie would have to be delivered almost immediately if she was going to have any hope of survival, but with no incubators available at the Royal, Geraldine was transferred to the Jubilee Maternity Unit. The following morning she underwent a caesarean operation and Cherie was brought into the world at 10am weighing 1lb 10ozs.
“She was so tiny and looked so vulnerable and surrounded by so much hi-tech equipment it was hard to believe she had any chance of survival,” Jimmy said at the time.
Geraldine didn’t see her baby until that afternoon and her initial reaction was that she didn’t look like a baby at all, more like a foetus surrounded by a mass of tubes and monitors. She noted that it was unusual for Cherie’s eyes to be open for such a premature baby and they were a striking shade of dark blue, looking huge against the rest of her tiny body. At that initial stage, staff in the unit were not optimistic and held little hope, and Geraldine herself experienced a mix of feelings, both pleasure that Cherie was alive and fear for the future.
“I didn’t want to get too close to her because I thought if she died it wouldn’t hurt so much then.”
Cherie however, was determined to live and became a real little fighter. She overcame feeding difficulties which saw her weight drop to 19ozs, a bowel infection, breathing difficulties and a heart murmur. Gradually, Cherie started to put on weight and three months later was allowed to return home. Having heard the stories from her family and having seen the newspaper clippings marking her survival story, Cherie, an award winning Irish dancer, knows looking back now, that she was, as the headlines suggested, a miracle child.
“I don’t know how I survived to be honest,” she remarked.
Awaiting the results of her A-levels, she is currently working in Flo’s Restaurant in Enniskillen and hopes come September to study for a HND in Health and Social Care at the South West College and progress from there, to study for a degree in nursing at university. And, despite being naturally small, Cherie is now one young, fit and healthy adult.
“I’m very small, just 5ft so I’m very tiny. I have size three feet and wear small clothes.”
Monday, Jul. 7, 2008
The parents of baby twins who defied death due to groundbreaking surgery in the womb have thanked the hospital that saved them.
Fidelma and Paul Greene, from Swords, Dublin, said yesterday their daughters, Lauren and Sophie, were thriving three months after being born.
Their unborn children had been given almost no chance of survival when Rotunda Hospital medics discovered they suffered from a rare medical condition.
Doctors diagnosed them with Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) when their mother was 21 weeks pregnant.
The condition means one baby gets too much blood and the other too little. In almost all cases it leads to death of both twins, if it’s not treated.
Consultant obstetrician, Professor Fergal Malone, decided the foetuses had to be operated on while they were still inside their mother’s womb if they were to have any chance of surviving.
He performed the life-saving procedure in the hospital’s new foetal operating theatre on January 10 this year. The operation involved the obstetrician and his team inserting a camera, less than an eighth of a inch thick, and other tiny surgical instruments, into the womb.
The camera helped the team identify abnormal blood vessels, which were then repaired using laser therapy.
The girls were born by caesarean section three months later on April 7.
Lauren and Sophie are among the first children in Ireland to survive the pioneering surgery. It also saved the lives of twin boys Ryan and Dylan Kershaw, who were born in March last year.
The radical surgery was previously available in only a handful of clinics in Europe and North America.
Mr and Mrs Green said their babies would not have survived without Professor Malone and his team and thanked them for their care. “Paul and I are absolutely delighted that this story has had such a happy ending,” said Mrs Green (43).
“We would like to thank all the staff in The Rotunda for their excellent care and professionalism. Lauren was discharged home with me after five days and Sophie joined us at home nine days later. Now the girls are three months old and are thriving.”
Professor Malone said almost a third of all twin pregnancies were identical, and up to a quarter of identical twins could develop Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome.
“When one considers that up until recently survival for these babies was so poor, it is gratifying to see the Irish health service investing in new technology that provides such an immediately apparent benefit to our patients.”
Monday, Jun. 9, 2008
A baby was last night hailed a miracle by her mum and dad – after being born TWICE.
The child was first taken out of the womb after a scan showed she had a giant tumour on her lower back six months into the pregnancy.
Surgeons removed the growth, put the foetus back inside her mum and she was born again through normal delivery 10 weeks later.
Macie Hope is now a healthy baby and mum Keri McCarthy, 40, and dad Chad were due to take her home from hospital today to their four other children in Texas.
Head surgeon Dr Darrell Cass said the tumour had been as large as a grapefruit.
He added: “This is incredibly rare. We were lucky.”
Chad, 39, said: “We had been told that there was less than a 10 per cent chance that she was going to make it.”
Mother and child have remained in hospital since the premature birth on May 3 as the baby girl gained strength.
A Baby boy who contracted killer disease meningitis at just one month old will celebrate his first birthday tomorrow.
Jake Crabtree is a little miracle to his family who were devastated to find he had the deadly infection so soon after he was born at Scunthorpe General Hospital.
Now, on the eve of his first birthday, three generations of his family have spoken about the frightening trauma.
They hope Jake has not suffered any permanent damage from the attack – and the signs are good.
Mum Victoria Crabtree (17), of Queen’s Crescent, Keadby, said: “When he was four to five weeks old, he had bacterial meningitis. It was awful, I cried.
“He had fluid taken from his spine and was put on antibiotics.
“The staff at Scunthorpe General Hospital were absolutely fantastic.
“It took him about 14 days to get back to himself.
“He’s been for further check-ups, he had a hearing test recently and that was fine.”
He has taken his first steps and started saying his first words.
When he fell ill, Jake did not immediately display the distinctive meningitis rash, but his family noticed he was not well.
Grandma Michelle Crabtree (33) said: “He hadn’t been his usual self and wouldn’t settle.
“It was my husband who said ‘take him to the hospital because there’s something not right’.
“He didn’t get the rash until two days after he was in hospital
“It’s not always the rash that comes first. They did tests on him and had him wired up to machines for two to three days.
“Doctors said he could have learning disabilities when he gets older, and at the moment his immune system has completely gone.
“I don’t think he will have learning difficulties because he picks things up quickly.”
Victoria, who is expecting her second child this Christmas, stayed in hospital with her baby for 10 days and the family’s experience of both the birth and the illness has been written down to help anyone else going through the same situation.
Michelle said: “When Victoria gave birth to him I made an information website about teenage pregnancies and put a meningitis advice section on there when he was diagnosed.”
Great-grandma Norma Eaton (53) said: “It was devastating news at the time. Worry, stress you name it, it was there.
“It started off when he was poorly, while he was really ill for three to four days, we didn’t know what was going to happen.
“We wouldn’t like to put him through that again or see anybody else go through it because it’s not nice.
“When a friend of mine celebrated her 65th birthday, instead of having presents she organised a charity night and raised £500 for Disney Ward at Scunthorpe General Hospital where Jake was treated.”
Wednesday, Jun. 4, 2008
A MIRACLE baby born fit and well after growing in her mum’s ovary was hailed as one in a million yesterday.
Little Durga Thangarajah stretched the ovary so tight that her hair and face were visible through it.
The organ could have ruptured at any moment, killing the tot and putting mum Meera’s life at risk.
But apart from a spot of morning sickness, Meera had a healthy 38-week pregnancy and had no idea anything was wrong.
And her doctors didn’t realise that Durga was in her ovary until they began delivering her by Caesarean.
Durga, who arrived weighing 6lb 3oz, was only allowed to grow to full term because Meera didn’t have a scan early in her pregnancy.
If her condition, called an ectopic pregnancy, had been discovered, the baby would probably have been aborted to safeguard Meera’s health.
Only one in 100,000 successful deliveries involve babies who have grown outside the womb and doctors reckon the odds of a successful ovarian birth are a million to one.
Dr Andrew Miller, who delivered Durga on Thursday at a private hospital in Darwin, Australia, said: “It’s an extraordinarily unusual outcome. I’m not aware of anyone who has had a fulltermovarian pregnancy.
“It truly is a miracle that Meera got a living baby.”
Meera said: “I didn’t know anything about it until I woke up after the Caesarean and the doctors told me. I’m feeling like the luckiest woman in the world.”
Durga’s dad Ravi, 40, added: “We expected a normal Caesarean but the doctors told me it was like a miracle baby.
They said, ‘You’re one of the luckiest men in the world at the moment.'”
Tuesday, Jun. 3, 2008
Family of a Featherston farm bike rider are stunned “the tough old bugger” survived a collision with a truck that ran him over on Friday.
Donald Fuge, 67, was yesterday awaiting transfer back to Wairarapa Hospital after having facial surgery at Hutt Valley Hospital to repair a head wound that had exposed his skull.
“I’m feeling good as gold now. It was just a bit of skin off the top of the head,” he said.
Mr Fuge, a horse trainer and dairy farmer, was on his way to shift stock when he turned in front of a truck on State Highway 53 near Tauherenikau that was travelling behind him about 3:30 on Friday afternoon.
“I don’t remember anything about the crash and have no idea how it happened,” he said.
“I guess I’m pretty lucky it wasn’t any worse.”
His wife Beth was still in shock yesterday as she described her husband being “up and talking as if nothing happened to him”.
“It’s quite miraculous considering he doesn’t even have any broken bones.”
Mrs Fuge had spoken to her husband by cellphone shortly before the crash and he had told her he was going to shift some stock.
“It must have just happened as I was getting home but because he was around at the bottom farm I didn’t come across it. When I got home there was a message on the answer phone saying he was being taken to hospital.
“I followed up after the ambulance and then he was transferred to the Hutt and had surgery right away.”
She said his recovery is “remarkable, he’s fooled everybody”.
“No one can believe how well he’s doing and everyone is saying it’s because he’s a tough old bugger.”
The site of the crash is known as a “dangerous corner”, she said.
“We always pull into the middle of the road when turning because if you pull to the side you can’t see if anything is coming. It’s always been very dangerous.”
Mrs Fuge said their granddaughter had been feeling guilty after the crash “because she had asked for help to get the stock back in the paddock and that’s where he was going when it happened”.
“Donald’s told her to stop being silly and if it had been her fault he would have kicked her up the butt by now.”
She said the only concern with his injuries is that his eye socket is in danger of collapsing once the swelling goes down.
“That’s why they’ve keep him at the Hutt but it looks like they will transfer him back to Masterton and just see how it goes.”
Saturday, May. 31, 2008
The gun went off, and Karl Hauer fell to the ground.
Beside a pick-up full of hunting gear, his brother Dan stood in shock.
“I heard the shot,” Astoria resident Dan Hauer recalls, “but it took me awhile to comprehend what actually happened.”
The group of four hunters had just moved to a new spot in the woods off Oregon Highway 202 near Simmons Field, where they hoped to bag some deer Oct. 6. While he was arranging gear in the truck bed, Karl set the butt of his hunting rifle beside a downed tree and rested the muzzle against the truck.
The hammer, which releases the trigger, was locked down – “completely seated,” Karl said later – but when he grabbed the gun to pick it back up, it caught on hard a branch and sent a bullet blasting straight up through his chest and lower jaw.
The impact knocked him down and filled his mouth with blood and pieces of bone and teeth.
Moments later, his brother rushed to his side.
“I was lying on the ground, drowning on what was left of my face,” Karl said. “I looked into my brother’s eyes and thought: ‘Is this really happening?'”
The bullet left a large flesh wound on the left side of Karl’s chest before exiting his body and hitting his lower left jaw. But it missed his upper jaw on its way up and just grazed his left brow bone.
He was lucky.
“It’s just a miracle how it happened,” Dan said. “It just missed all the organs in his chest. Had the angle been a little bit different, it would have been a lot worse.”
Both brothers grew up in Astoria and say they have been known to pass out at the sight of a paper cut.
But out in the woods, six miles up a pot-holed logging road, and 18 miles down Highway 202 from Astoria, “We didn’t have time to stop,” Dan said.
Not knowing how much damage the bullet had done, Dan and family friends, Abiel Buenrostro and Anjee Taylor, gingerly loaded Karl into the back of their Jeep.
Karl used his left arm to contain his chest wound and Taylor pressed a towel to his face.
Then, with Buenrostro in the driver’s seat, they took off as fast as they could safely go down the waterlogged gravel road.
They wanted to call an ambulance, but there was no cell phone service to be found – even as they got closer to the highway.
“Now what do we do?” Dan remembers thinking. “Then I remembered I had my dad’s amateur radio.”
Dan and Karl learned early in life to take extra precautions when going out into the woods. Their father, Ed Hauer, works with the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team; he and Dan are licensed ham radio operators.
“Initially, we couldn’t hear anything,” Dan said. But at the peak of a hill, he tuned in to a signal from Gearhart amateur radio operator Loren Wohlgemuth, who then called 9-1-1 for them.
“It was phenomenal,” said Karl. “We were still bumping along the logging road when I remember hearing them on the radio saying ‘help is on the way.'”
“It was such a huge relief to us,” said Dan. “I thought, ‘Things are finally starting to go our way.'”
They were still only a few miles from the accident site, though, and the radio signal cut out as they drove into a valley. When they could, they gave Wohlgemuth updates on their location.
Meanwhile, Dan, Taylor and Buenrostro kept talking to Karl. They’d ask him how he was doing, and he’d respond with hand signals: thumbs up or thumbs down.
Through choking bouts and discomfort throughout the drive, Karl said he prayed and tried to stay calm.
“People are helping. God’s in control,” he told himself. “Just don’t go into shock.”
Karl stayed conscious throughout the drive. At the Klatskanine Fish Hatchery, the Jeep met up with a Clatsop County Sheriff’s deputy, who led them to an ambulance and medical technicians at the Olney-Walluski Volunteer Fire and Rescue station.
Wohlgemuth’s help shaved valuable minutes off the emergency response time, said Ed Hauer, who’s learned from countless missions searching for the lost and injured that there’s a “golden hour” after any incident. “If you make the right things happen in that golden hour,” he said, “your chances of surviving are greatly increased.”
Dan said other than the gun shot, a lot of things went right that day.
“Everything that needed to happen happened in the time frame we needed to get treatment,” he said.
Dan said he didn’t know how severe Karl’s injuries were until he saw the emergency response personnel cut his raincoat off to reveal a gaping chest wound.
Karl was taken to Columbia Memorial Hospital, where he was stabilized and sent via ambulance to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.
He’d left for the hunting trip at about 9 a.m that morning. At 11 p.m. doctors began a nightlong effort, involving several surgeries, to close up his chest and repair his shattered jaw.
The bullet knocked out five of his teeth and left him with dozens of staples in his chest, a titanium plate in his jaw, nerve damage on his left cheek and some hearing loss from the sound of the gun shot. But his recovery has been swift. He was released from the hospital Oct. 18.
In retrospect, Karl said, he could have employed all three of the safety mechanisms built into his rifle instead of just one. The accident was “just dumb luck,” he said, “but it definitely could have been prevented.”
Karl lives in Hillsboro with his wife and four sons, but he spends a lot of his free time in the woods on the North Coast.
Many in the festive crowd at Sunday’s Easter sunrise service at Red Rocks Ampitheatre were harboring something special beneath their warm woolies – miracles to tell.
For years, the much-loved Colorado ritual has drawn nearly 10,000 people on Easter Sunday – weather permitting – to mark what Christians believe is among the greatest of miracles, Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
This year, the earliest Easter in nearly a century, we asked people to talk about miracles in their own lives. (Maybe their stories will resonate for future generations, who won’t see another Easter sunrise this early in the year until 2160.)
Their remarks have been edited for space and clarity.
‘That day he had angels all around him’
Jean Bush, 60, Federal Heights
I sure do have a miracle. I have a great-grandbaby, Emilio, who was 5 months old when the miracle happened.
Last October he opened a furnace grate, 6 feet deep, and fell into it. I was on my way to work when my granddaughter called to say – “Hey, we made the news.”
“Did we win the lottery?” I said. Not exactly.
Thank God the furnace wasn’t lit – even though it was October.
Then Emilio’s godfather, Hal Temple, went down to get him out, and he got stuck up to his waist. The man is 78 years old. It took five paramedics to get him out. I think that’s a miracle, too.
Anyway, firemen came and cut the baby out of the box. The little guy just had a scratch on his head. He was so adorable – he had this cinder-black face.
That day he had angels all around him. Big, big angels.
I’m telling you, miracles do happen in everyday life.
‘Having our family, that’s a gift’
Campbell Kruse, 15; his brother Spencer, 6; and his mom, Cherisse Larsson, Brighton
Campbell: I’m adopted. I think it was a miracle that God was able to bring a family my way, to find someone who will take care of me.
I was pretty young, about 4, and living in Iowa in foster care.
Cherisse: My husband, Mats, and I were able to adopt Campbell and his brother and sister. They were going to be split up. Another miracle in our lives – doctors said I couldn’t get pregnant. We tried and tried and tried. One day, after adopting these three kids, I found out I was pregnant, with Spencer.
Having our family, that’s a gift. A miracle.
‘Then all of a sudden he went into remission.’
David Hawkins, Westminster
My father-in-law had lymphoma for 10 years. He was on disability for the longest time. Then all of a sudden it went into remission. That was seven or eight years ago.
Our family sees that as a miracle. Definitely.
Chemo, radiation, going to church, praying – and never losing faith. That’s the combination. That’s what made our miracle.
‘They are each a gift from God.’
Anne Lundstrom, 41, Thornton
The gift of life is a miracle. I have four of them.
This is Amy Mae, 3.
My other kids are Catherine, 12, John, 9, and Claire, 6. Every time I have a child it truly is an absolute miracle. I’m so aware of that as I’m delivering, that they are each a gift from God.
My husband, Tom, and I met in college – he’s from here, I’m from Minneapolis. He came to Minnesota to go to school. If he hadn’t done that, I don’t know how we would have met. So that’s providential, too.
‘Last year was a mess. But God is awesome.’
Tara Miller, 23, and her mom, Ginger McLaughlin, 41
Our miracle is the fact that last year we were in the depths of despair. My dad is an alcoholic. He’s in recovery now. That has brought us all out of the darkness and into the light.
Ginger: Last year was a mess. But God is awesome.
Tara: His unfailing love shows how he always cares for us. At Easter dinner today, we can look toward the future with hope.
‘Here I am. I’m alive.’
Michael Mincinski, 44, Fort Collins
That I’m alive – that’s pretty much a miracle, I’d say.
It happened 13 years ago. I was living in L.A., and one day my girlfriend at the time and I went for a drive in the Angeles Crest National Forest.
I lost control of the car and went over a cliff, 350 feet down, the length of a football field.
We were tumbling and rolling – I remember going through the treetops. I was gripping the steering wheel with one hand and holding my girlfriend with the other and saying over and over again, ‘Oh my God, Oh my God!’
I might have said it five times or 100 times, I don’t know. Everything was in slow motion. Later they told me the car flipped 26 times.
Finally we slowed down and that’s when I saw another cliff was ahead. I prayed – “Oh please, God, let this be the last time we roll.”
They said if we had rolled three more times we would have gone over another cliff – straight down.
And you know what? Neither one of us broke a bone. It was like angels were around me the whole way.
I haven’t thought about this in a long time. But yeah, I guess that’s pretty much a miracle, isn’t it? Here I am. I’m alive.
‘They said we lost him three times.’
Tamera Berckhan, 50, and A.C. Wells, 52, St. Paul, Minn., on an emergency visit to Colorado to be with their sick son
Tamera: I guess we can say we have a miracle in the works. Two weeks ago, our 30-year-old son, Adrian, who lives here, came down with pneumococcal pneumonia. He thought it was the flu. It took him out in 12 hours. Now they’ve got him in an induced coma. He’s completely paralyzed.
They said we lost him three times; three times they revived him.
A.C.: That was a miracle. He came close to death a couple of times.
Tamera: Now the doctors say they are running out of options. His vital signs have leveled out, but they say he won’t come out of this without some permanent “war wounds.”
But this just makes us more faithful. We’ve already seen a miracle – we got him back 30 percent, with a chance to live. We just want him to live.
A.C: When you’re in a situation like this, always request prayer. It keeps you going forward.
Tamera: It gets you through the hard times.