A Texas teen’s family is thankful he’s alive after suffering cardiac arrest before miraculously being brought back to life two hours later.
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Sammy Berko of Missouri City, Texas, was recently pronounced dead after a bystander, medical professionals, and doctors worked on him for hours in a desperate attempt to restart his stopped heart.
Doctors gave up hope — and then something incredible happened. The 16-year-old came back to life, KRIV-TV reported.
Sammy’s shocking ordeal unfolded Jan. 7, when he was at a rock climbing gym. He reportedly reached the top of the wall and then went limp.
Once he was lowered, the seriousness of the situation became apparent. That’s when lifesaving measures were unsuccessfully implemented, though these early efforts potentially protected the teen from more serious brain trauma.
“They looked at us and said, ‘I’m so sorry, but he’s gone,'” Jennifer, Sammy’s mom, told KRIV-TV, noting she and her husband were left behind in the room to say goodbye to their beloved son.
That’s when Jennifer said she started speaking to her son — and God.
“I started talking to [Sammy], just telling him how much I love him and sorry that we didn’t know how to save him,” she said. “Suddenly, as I started praying, my husband said, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s moving.'”
Jennifer and her husband began shouting, and doctors came in and discovered a true miracle had unfolded and Sammy was back, according to KRIV-TV.
The emotional mom, reflecting on all that unfolded, said the medical professionals at the hospital hadn’t seen anything like Sammy’s recovery before.
“Never had they ever pronounced somebody and suddenly they came back five minutes later,” she said. “That feeling of seeing his heartbeat, there are no words for that. There are no words.”
The other miracle at the center of the recovery is that Sammy, who went a long time without oxygen, has only suffered a minor brain injury and short-term memory loss. These issues could have been much more pronounced, considering what unfolded.
Sammy has a long road to recovery due to a spinal cord injury he sustained during the cardiac arrest, though his mother told CBN’s Faithwire he’s making remarkable progress.
Jennifer said the family is openly sharing Sammy’s story to inspire change.
“We’re hoping to create not just awareness but change,” she said. “Infants all go through a litany of tests when they’re born to check for their health.”
Jennifer wants to see infants have a routine genetic heart test at birth, considering the prevalence of heart disease. Sammy’s cardiac arrest was reportedly the result of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), a rare genetic condition he, Jennifer, and his late brother, Frankie, suffer from — a fact the family previously didn’t know.
CPVT, which is rare, can cause “sudden rhythm disturbances” and force the heart to stop, according to Boston Children’s Hospital.
Frankie tragically died three years ago at the age of 10. Sammy’s diagnosis of CPVT has helped solve Frankie’s cause of death and could also potentially save Jennifer’s life.
The loving mom told CBN she wants to see babies tested at birth to diagnose such issues much earlier.
Sammy, who returned home Tuesday after more than three months in hospitals, said his recovery is moving along quite well.
“I knew it would be a weird, crazy experience learning to walk again and working on strength without using my legs to be able to balance me,” Sammy said. “It has just been an amazing experience here actually, like I’ve noticed that I’m better every day! I’m doing something new every single day.”
Continue to pray for Sammy on his incredible path to recovery.
Read more about the story here.
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