Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Remembering a Miracle

This article is from a 2007 Tulsa World publication. The young man referred to in the article is the son of a dear friend of mine. We are so grateful for the gifts our loving Heavenly Father gives us ... especially Michael!

Angels take the field
by KIM ARCHER World Staff Writer
Published: 4/22/2007 3:30 AM

Boy, 11 struck in the chest at ball game, then catches a few lucky breaks

Eleven-year-old Michael Slatcher is the epitome of true grit.
Throw in some luck and prayer, and doctors say that is why he is alive.
On a balmy evening Thursday at Indian Springs Sports Complex in Broken Arrow, Michael was playing catcher for his Hurricanes youth baseball team when he was accidentally struck in the chest with a bat.
It happened after a dropped third strike. After the blow to his chest protector, Michael scrambled, grabbed the ball, threw it to first base and then collapsed.
He immediately went into cardiac arrest.
Luckily, an off-duty paramedic and a physician happened to be at the park and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
"If no one had been there to do CPR on this child, I have no doubt he would have died or had an oxygen-deprivation injury to his brain," said Gail Neff-Gordon, who is a LIfeFlight paramedic.
Gordon's husband, Robert, was at the game watching his own 10-year-old son play ball at an adjoining field and was one of the first responders for Michael.
"It was just one of those rare occurrences. The bat hit him at the precise moment," he said.
Gordon and Dr. Athena Mason, whose son is a teammate of Michael's, were able to perform CPR until a Broken Arrow emergency services squad arrived, just 3 1/2 minutes after the call went out.
Maj. Phil Reid, who heads the EMS unit at the Broken Arrow Fire Department, said Michael's heart stopped and he was shocked back to life on the field.
"I'm so proud of my squad," Reid said. "They're the angels in blue."
Dr. Matthew Kimberling, a pediatric cardiologist (Claira's heart-doc too btw!) treating Michael at St. Francis Hospital, said such occurrences of "commotio cordis" are very rare.
"They may be underreported because most people die as a result of this," he said.
It happens when the chest is struck in precisely the right spot during a 15-millisecond window of opportunity, Kimberling said.
As a result, Michael's heart went into a potentially deadly arrhythmia called ventricular fibrillation, V-fib for short.
"I've practiced pediatric cardiology for 10 years, and this is only the second time I've heard of someone surviving it," Kimberling said. "He was very, very fortunate."
Amazingly, Michael isn't exected to have any long-term effects from the accident (except maybe orneriness!), the doctor said.
"He had a guardian angel watching after him," he said.
Without immediate CPR, the outcome might have been very different, imberling said. He believes that ball parks should have automatic defibrillators available for just such incidents.
"That made all the difference. The Broken Arrow Fire Department should be commended for their quick response," he said.
Michael is the oldest of six children, the youngest of whom is 1. At the time of the accident, his parents were on a vacation cruise.
"What a time for this to happen," said his grandmother Beverly Slatcher. "The first thing Michael asked was 'Who won the game?'."
The game was never completed.
As paramedics worked on Michael at the ball park, Mason said, parents and onlookers were holding hands praying for the child.
"I think that's what saved this little boy," she said.
According to the Institute for Preventative Sports Medicine, softball and baseball lead to more injuries requiring emergency room visits in the U.S. than any other sport.
And baseball leads all team sports in deaths of children between ages 5 and 14, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Michael was moved out of pediatric intensive care Saturday to a regular pediatric unit at St. Francis Hospital.
His grandmother said doctors predict he will go home any day.
"Hes tough. He's our miracke," Slatcher said. "There were nine people there to see to his needs. We feel very, very blessed."

5 comments:

gonzo39 said...

Wow what an inspiring story. I have really fell in love with this blog. Wish there was something we could all do to help. Have bookmarked you and will check back regular. Please feel free to take a look at my blog...Planning Permission for Conservatories

Jenna said...

Hi My name is Jenna and I came across your site. Ur daughter is an amazing, strong and determined fighter. She is a brave warrior, smilen champ and an inspirational hero. That is an awesome and inspiring story. I was born with a rare life threatening disease, and developmental delays. I love it when people sign my guestbook. www.miraclechamp.webs.com

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Its ME said...

Bless your heart and your blog visitors too. take a slow walk and remember to drink a glass of water every 90 minute ... i blog on water cure many diseases discovery and empower network to aid the small people worldwide ... peace

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Thank you David and Gina Brim for helping to express our gratitude for an amazing show of compassion and generosity.