He’s alive because of his angels … and an AED
Courtesy Memorial Hermann Southwest HospitalRand Mintzer
In January 2017, attorney Rand Mintzer, set out to complete his 25th marathon and his 11th Houston Marathon—but it didn’t go exactly as planned. “I wasn’t feeling great. I was struggling to keep up my pace, but I had heartburn and nausea. I even vomited on the sidelines,” Rand, 58, recalled. “Then I began feeling lightheaded, and my vision started to blur.”
At mile 15, he collapsed. He was in full cardiac arrest. Luckily, six spectators (aka Rand’s “angels,” as he calls them) who were trained in CPR ran to his aid. What’s more, he had collapsed right near an assisted-living facility that had an AED (a heart defibrillation device that saves lives). When the paramedics arrived, they transported Rand to Memorial Hermann Heart & Vascular Institute–Southwest, where Peter Chang, MD, positioned a stent to address a severe arterial blockage.
Today it’s Rand’s mission to encourage everyone to learn the miracle of CPR. “I will keep working to make sure that everyone who crosses my path knows CPR, so perhaps that percentage of survival will increase and someone else gets to go home to their loved ones.” Next up, read 13 more “unsolved mysteries” easily explained by science.
The first 23-week preemie to survive in more than a decade
Courtesy Jennifer Fresneda
A few years ago, we wrote about the miraculous survival of a baby born at 26 weeks. Now we have Samuel Rodriguez, born in April 2017 at just 23 weeks and 3 days, the result of a spontaneous placental abruption (separation of the placenta from the uterus). All Samuel’s mom, Jennifer Fresneda of Tioga, Texas, remembers is waking up to labor pains and rushing to the hospital, where she learned that her baby’s sole chance of survival was an emergency C-section. Sam actually took a breath upon emerging, but doctors immediately intubated and rushed him to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). When Jennifer and her husband were finally allowed to see their baby, Jennifer nearly collapsed from the shock. “He was the tiniest thing, hooked up to all these wires. I was frightened and powerless.”
Samuel spent four months in NICU, during which he had two surgeries, including surgery to correct a heart abnormality. On August 9, the day before his actual due date, Samuel was discharged from the hospital, a healthy baby boy, albeit with an apnea monitor and supplemental oxygen. “I didn’t even know babies so small could survive,” Jennifer marvels. Check out these 8 unsolved mysteries that still stump doctors.