Miracle toddler Gardell Martin has fully recovered from an ordeal which saw him nearly die in an icy creek before undergoing one hour and 41 minutes of CPR.
The 22-month old boy from Pennsylvania is said to have no endured no lasting effects and his mother called it “an act of God.”
On March 11 Gardell and his two brothers went outside to play near a stream that runs through their 5-acre property near Mifflinburg. It was here that the toddler fell, before being swept away by a fast current. After his brothers raised the alarm, Gardell’s mother Rose Martin realized what had happened, her panic heightened by melting snow which had swollen the creek. She called the emergency services as her daughters began the search.
Near neighbor Randall Beachel told BuzzFeed News that he and his wife had taken up the search after being alerted by Gardell’s brothers.
“I had the inkling to come back upstream about 50 yards.”
It was Beachel who saw Gardell’s body on an embankment in the middle of the stream.
“It was cold enough that my feet kind of instantly froze and I could not feel them. They estimated afterward the water temperature was about 34.”
Beachel retrieved the toddlers seemingly drowned body from the embankment and was met by an ambulance, but at the time things did not look good. Gardell was cold, frozen, had no pulse, and it appeared as if he had died. Beachel’s heart sank.
“He was pretty much a lifeless baby.”
The ambulance crew then began CPR and would not stop their efforts to resuscitate the toddler for 101 minutes. Over this time the efforts were constant: in the ambulance, at a community hospital, in a helicopter and, finally, in an emergency room, and in the pediatric wing of Geisinger Medical Center.
Others may have given up. But it’s not the first occasion in recent weeks where a very young person has defied the odds, and sub-zero temperatures to fight another day. Many appear to be blessed with an innate resilience.
The body temperature of Gardell was 77 degrees when he arrived at the medical center, over 20 degrees below normal. It was found that hypothermia was working to his advantage, dramatically slowing his metabolism and giving his organs “some degree of protection from cardiac arrest,” according to Dr. Frank Maffei, director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital in Danville.
“The stars and moon aligned, and he had an angel on his shoulder.”
It was Maffei who ordered for CPR to continue while the team slowly worked on warming Gardell’s body and at around 82 degrees, a pulse was detected.
The medics had restarted Gardell’s heart. A mere matter of hours later the toddler woke up and his brain function was found to be normal.
Gardell’s mother commented.
“It was an act of God. There is no doubt in my mind it’s a miracle. God had the right people in the right place at the right time and they all did a wonderful job.”
While the credit may be shared between God and the skilled medics on hand, the survival of this toddler after nearly drowning shows once again that, when it matters, small people can sometimes contain the most unlikely physical resilience.
[Image – AP]