(KETTERING, Ohio) -- When 17-year-old Lawrence Yahle learned his father was dead earlier this month at Kettering Medical Center in Ohio, he ran down the hall to see nurses around his father's body. They weren't trying to revive him anymore. Distraught, Lawrence pointed and shouted, "Dad, you're not going to die today."
Moments later, Anthony Yahle's heart monitor showed signs of life, Dr. Raja Nazir, his cardiologist at Kettering Medical Center, told ABC News. It wasn't a regular heart beat, but once or twice a minute, the monitor would pick up tiny electrical movements.
"When I looked at the electrical activity, I was surprised," Nazir said. "I thought we'd better make another effort to revive him." Nazir gave one of Anthony's hanging medicine bags a squeeze to restore his blood pressure and the team began working on him again. "Very slowly, the heart rate was picking up," Nazir said. That was more than a week ago, on Aug. 5. Doctors thought Anthony, a 37-year-old diesel mechanic, would need a heart transplant or be in a vegetative state the rest of his life, but he's home resting and seems fine.
"I'm calling it a miracle because I've never seen anything like it," Nazir said. Anthony's near-death experience started at 4 a.m. that day, when his wife, Melissa Yahle, woke up and realized his breathing didn't sound right. Melissa, who has been a nurse for seven years, said she tried unsuccessfully to wake him up. Melissa and Lawrence performed CPR until an ambulance could arrive, and first responders found a heartbeat after shocking Anthony several times. At the hospital, doctors expected Anthony's arteries to be clogged, but they were clear. Things were looking positive until later that afternoon, when Anthony's heart stopped. He "coded" for 45 minutes as doctors tried to revive him, but eventually Nazir realized it was time to call the time of death. "We looked at each other," Nazir said. "We'd given him all the medicine we had in our code cart. At some point, you have to call it off."
Nazir said he wasn't sure exactly how long Anthony was "dead," before Lawrence ran down the hall to tell his father he couldn't die that day. "Suddenly that trickle of a thing came back," Nazir said. "We were lucky we saw and reacted to it, and that brought him back." Nazir said it was "mind boggling." Melissa said she, Lawrence and the people from their church who were praying with them witnessed a miracle. Anthony was transferred to Ohio State University, and he returned home to West Carrollton on Aug. 10 with a defibrillator in his chest. He doesn't remember any of the experience after he went to bed on Aug. 4. "He doesn't have one broken rib," Melissa said. "He's not sore. These are things that just clinically don't happen."
Anthony is set to go back to work on Monday, and doctors may do a heart biopsy to find out more about what happened.
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