Back From the Brink. But Why?

Was it a miracle that saved the young Omaha man or something else?

Twenty-three-year-old Michael Crowe was circling the drain. He had toxic blood poisoning and an inflamed myocardium. His heart muscle was shutting down. His Omaha hospital put him on the transplant list. However, even when a heart was found, he was too sick to accept it. Then, all of a sudden Michael started getting better. His heart regained its strength. What happened? Was it a miracle? The Beating Edge Team consulted Cleveland Clinic transplant cardiologist Randall Starling, MD, to find out what may have happened to this young man in Omaha.

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“This kind of recovery is not unheard of,” says Dr. Starling. “There are many cases of reversible left ventricular dysfunction due to viral illness. Some patients with fulminant myocarditis develop heart failure need to be put on mechanical ventricular assist devices yet eventually have a full recovery. This phenomenon has been described decades ago. How and why it happens has yet to be fully understood.

“Similar situations may be caused by hypersensitivity myocarditis. Patients experience acute heart failure triggered by something they ate or drank or a drug they may have taken. These patients too may fully recover. I remember a high school cheerleader we treated about ten years ago. She had a nut allergy and developed severe heart failure. Her condition was not promising, but within a week, she completely recovered. For my part, I’m thrilled to hear that this young man in Omaha is recovering. I congratulate his caregivers and wish him the best of health in the future.”

Read the full ABC News feature here

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