‘A Literal Miracle:’ Texas Teen Revived After Two Hours of CPR

Photo by Ruben Hutabarat on Unsplash

‘A Literal Miracle:’ Texas Teen Revived After Two Hours of CPR

By Movieguide® Contributor 

Sammy Berko, a teenager from Missouri City, Texas, suffered cardiac arrest while rock climbing and was dead for two hours before suddenly reviving after paramedics ceased CPR and informed his parents he was gone. 

While rock climbing at a local gym, Sammy suffered a cardiac episode due to an undiagnosed heart disorder. 

“He climbed to the top of the wall, rang the bell… and then his body went limp, and it looked like he was either playing around or passed out,” Sammy’s mother, Jennifer, said. “They weren’t quite sure and when they realized he was unresponsive, they lowered him slowly.” 

Gym workers, paramedics, and doctors performed CPR on Berko before declaring he had passed and then backing away to give the parents space to say their goodbyes. 

“I started talking to him, just telling him how much I love him and sorry that we didn’t know how to save him,” Jennifer explained. “Suddenly, as I started praying, my husband said, ‘oh my gosh, he’s moving.’” 

“These are professionals who have been doing this their entire lives, who have seen the worst of the worst. Each and every one of them afterward came to us and said that they have never seen anything like this before. Ever,” Jennifer continued. “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,” Jennifer added. 

Amazingly, Sammy has only suffered from short-term memory loss due to the incident. 

“I don’t remember anything about the day it happened,” Sammy said. “The last thing I remember is the night before we had to sign waivers online, and then I woke up, not even in the pediatric ICU. I woke up in the transitional ICU and that’s the first thing I remember.” 

Doctors would normally expect to see a catastrophic brain injury because he went so long without oxygen. 

“I was very struck by his story,” Dr. Hall, Medical Director of the Pediatric Rehabilitation Program at TIRR Memorial Hermann said. “We do see kids all the time here who have had CPR, but with very prolonged CPR, we typically see very sever global anoxic brain injury, so to me, he is a literal miracle.” 

During the following months, as he has been recovering, Sammy has been diagnosed with catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT), the cause of his sudden cardiac arrest while on the wall. He has since undergone a procedure to help resolve the issue, and will continue taking medications to prevent entering cardiac arrest again. 

Sammy also had a spine injury as a result of the event and has had to relearn how to walk, however, he is showing incredible progress. 

“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. 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,” Sammy said. 

As Sammy continues to progress, his parents are preparing their home for Sammy’s wheelchair. They are forever grateful that God gave them their son back.  

God’s intervention when everyone had given up hope is an example of a modern-day miracle. Stories like these remind us that God is alive and moving in today’s world. This story is similar to BREAKTHROUGH, in which a fireman finds a young child’s body who fell under the ice thanks to God’s guidance.

A portion of Movieguide®’s review of BREAKTHROUGH reads: 

BREAKTHROUGH opens with a St. Louis boy drowning under the ice. Flash back to the time before the accident. John, a young boy, rejects his adoptive parents, neglects his schoolwork and only appreciates basketball. One day, John and two friends play tag on an icy pond. The ice breaks, and John sinks, while the other two try to survive. The police rescue John’s friends while two firemen search for John’s body. Just when everyone is giving up, one fireman thinks he hears his boss tell him to return to a specific place under the ice. He miraculously recovers John’s frozen body, but it will take another miracle to bring John back to life. 

BREAKTHROUGH is a powerful story that answers some of the questions about God’s intervention on behalf of some people but not others. BREAKTHROUGH is a great, extremely well-directed story. Chrissy Metz does an excellent job playing the mother. Caution is advised for little children because of the ice scene and the pain of adoption. Otherwise, BREAKTHROUGH is a must-see move. It will make you laugh and cry. 

Quality: - Content: +1
Quality: - Content: +1