Medical staff at Beaumont Hospital in Michigan are comparing the inspiring recovery of a 20-year-old man to a miracle after he died for 20 minutes then came back to life with hulk-like strength.
A news release from the hospital on Monday explained that the young man, Michael Pruitt, was helping his stepfather on a job site in Livonia in April when a metal ladder he was carrying accidentally connected with a live electrical wire and shocked him until his heart stopped.
“I remember being electrocuted while holding that ladder and shaking, and then nothing,” he recalled.
Emergency responders arrived at the home where he was working about four minutes after they were called and quickly took over from the homeowner who was administering CPR. They rushed him to Beaumont Hospital in Farmington Hills where he showed no signs of life.
“They brought in this perfect young man who had no vital signs. I said to my team, ‘We’re bringing him back.’ And then, I said to him, ‘You better come back!’” Dr. Angel Chudler explained.
Chudler and her team shocked Pruitt’s heart with a defibrillator to revive him but nothing happened. She tried again with a more intense shock and his heart started beating again after two minutes to everyone’s delight.
“When he became conscious again, he was like 'The Hulk,' grabbing the railings and shaking the bed with huge strength. It took the entire care team to hold Michael,” clinical nurse Yasmeen Bachir said. “I guess every superhero has to die at least once.”
Another nurse, Barbara Smith, who is director for trauma services, described Pruitt’s revival as miraculous.
“In less than five minutes, brain cells start to die from lack of oxygen. Michael’s resuscitation is miraculous. He did not lose any brain function. It’s a testament to the importance of immediate and continuous CPR to move oxygenated blood to the brain,” she said.
Pruitt’s big toes were burned from the inside because that’s where the high voltage electricity exited his body. They are still healing.
“When my folks ask me to take out the garbage now, I’ve been trying to use my painful big toes as an excuse not to do it,” Michael quipped.
To remember his miracle though he has tattooed an image of the sacred all-seeing eye of God inside a triangle surrounded by a Native American dreamcatcher over his heart.
“When people ask if my hair spikes naturally, now I tell them it’s because I was electrocuted,” Michael said laughing.
His mother, Jillian, who is a rehabilitation tech at Beaumont Hospital, Taylor said: “I knew he’d be OK when Michael made a sarcastic gesture when I asked if he had any other superpowers. My first-born had returned from the dead!”
According to the hospital, recovery from electric shock depends on the nature and severity of the injuries. Electrical damage to the brain can cause a permanent seizure disorder, depression, anxiety, other personality changes as well as other internal injuries including cardiac arrest.