In what has been hailed as a “literal miracle,” a Texas teen died while rock climbing only to be revived two hours later.
Sammy Berko, 16, was climbing a rock wall at a local gym in Missouri City when he suffered a cardiac arrest. “He climbed to the top of the wall, rang the bell, as we were told, and then his body went limp, and it looked like he was either playing around or passed out. They weren’t quite sure and when they realized he was unresponsive, they lowered him slowly,” Sammy’s mother Jennifer Berko told Fox 26 News.
Workers at the gym, paramedics and then doctors worked to revive Berko, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder that affects the heart known as catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), for two hours before they told his parents there was nothing more they could do for their son, the outlet reported.
“They looked at us and said, ‘I’m so sorry, but he’s gone,'” his mother told the outlet.
As Berko’s parents said their goodbyes to their child, Jennifer recalled, “I started talking to him, just telling him how much I love him and sorry that we didn’t know how to save him. Suddenly, as I started praying, my husband said, ‘oh my gosh, he’s moving,'” she told the outlet.
https://t.co/A4CglgwUOL Texas teen dies rock climbing and revives two hours later: Sammy Berko, from Missouri City Texas died of cardiac arrest while rock climbing but was revived after two hours of CPR. CREDIT: Fox 26 Houston https://t.co/A4CglgwUOL pic.twitter.com/KR8N7N4IJr
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A stunned medical team reentered the room, telling the Berko’s they had “never seen anything like this before. Ever,” Jennifer told the outlet.
“Never had they ever pronounced somebody and suddenly they came back five minutes later. That feeling of seeing his heartbeat, there are no words for that. There are no words. We just stood there. I mean, grateful is the biggest understatement ever to know that he might make it,” she continued.
After going so long without oxygen, doctors were expecting a “catastrophic brain injury,” instead, Berko has suffered short-term memory loss, remembering only seconds at a time, but that, Berko’s parents told the outlet, has improved with time. (RELATED: Damar Hamlin Attributes His Recovery To A Higher Power: ‘God Using Me As A Vessel’)
Having no memory of what happened to him or why he was in the hospital was something, because of his memory loss, his parents had to repeatedly explain to Berko.
“You could see the reset in his eyes. We kept telling him the story so many times that we eventually wrote it out and we just gave it to him on a piece of paper, and every time he asked, we just pointed at the piece of paper. He asked them every single time, in the same order, the same exact questions and it was every two minutes,” Berko’s father, Craig, told the outlet.
Now under the care of Dr. Stacey Hall at an inpatient rehabilitation facility at TIRR Memorial Hermann, Berko is trying to regain strength in his legs after his month-long stint in the hospital as well as recover from an upper thoracic spinal cord injury he sustained during his cardiac arrest, Fox 26 reported.
Calling his situation “gripping and very unusual,” Dr. Hall told the outlet that for everything Berko has been through he’s made “remarkable progress.”
“We do see kids all the time here who have had CPR, but with very prolonged CPR, we typically see very severe global anoxic brain injury, so to me, he is a literal miracle,” Dr. Hall told the outlet.