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Can a person recover from an anoxic brain injury

By March 30, 2010 - 9:48pm
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My sister has a heart disorder called "Long QT Syndrome" which caused her to go into cardiac arrest that resulted in her having brain damage,.

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EmpowHER Guest

I believe every situation and person is different. My dad had metastatic prostate cancer and had congestive heart failure with EF of 15%...which is not good. He went into sudden cardiac arrest and my mom had to do CPR. He went without a pulse for a good 20-30 mins. They did hypothermia protocol trying to keep his temp down. He was on a vent and nonresponsive, he didn't even have corneal reflexes. EEG showed seizures and MRI showed area of the brain that was damaged. He never woke up and kept going into dangerous heart arrhythmias. He never showed any signs of improvement and would not make a meaningful recovery. We ended up taking him off the vent and he ended up passing within 10 mins. We tried to honor his wishes because he never would have wanted to live in a vegetative state or be a burden or rely on others for care. It has been difficult. We still haven't had the memorial yet, as he passed only 5 days ago. I say keep praying and hoping for the best but also honoring your family members wishes as to what kind of quality of life they would want.

February 6, 2020 - 1:53pm
EmpowHER Guest

On that terrible day, 12-18-18, my precious wife Coleen suffered an anoxic brain injury during a medical procedure. She is highly allergic to the contrast dye they injected into her spine. Her heart stopped for 20 minutes. CPR was administered during that time but she suffered some brain damage. Although she can walk and talk, her memory is severely damaged, both long term and short term. Her cognitive functions have also taken a hit. She cannot drive anymore. She cannot do anything complicated, like operate our tv remotes. She can do some things like laundry, dishes, and take out the trash. I know that many, perhaps most anoxic injuries are worse than my wife's but this recent injury is only chapter of her poor health. When added to her existing medical conditions (diabetes, severe nerve pain, macular degeneration, 24/7 oxygen) have me wondering how much suffering one person can endure. I am devastated. I am able to function but I am severely depressed. I am trying to take it one day at a time. Hoping and praying that some of her memory will return. I still love her with everything that I am. She is my life.

February 19, 2019 - 9:04am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I pray that your wife is well. God is a good God. He will heal your wife. Everyone sayss that the Brain won;t heal. The brain is an amazing. It will heal. Patience is a virtue. You must hold on to your faith. No mater what you see. Know that God is working behinfd the scenes. My husband is my life and he is yet fighting. I will not give up on him. I know God will heal his BRain on this side of Heaven in his time. Praying for you and your family. Be encouraged.

May 19, 2020 - 5:46pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am in a state of brain injury. I no longer multi-task, etc; my husband still loves me deeply. I haven’t worked in 12 yrs., am disabled. The good news: I am craving my prayer time more, my Bible reading, and finishing “small tasks” by myself. The things I remember are things stored in my heart, not my brain. God will bring those things back to her more readily. I will add Colleen & you to my prayer list. Never give up hope, never doubt what a God can do. Be grateful for all that God is DOING every minute.

July 28, 2019 - 7:04am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Keep praying and giving her hope. They say it takes 2 years before they can say that a person has reached the maximum recovery from a brain injury.

March 17, 2019 - 10:01pm
EmpowHER Guest

My father worked as a heavy machine operator. A coworker found him passed out in his machine 12-02-2018. My father reacted in a startled type of manner but his eyes remained shut and we were told he started to foam at the mouth and nose. We were told that my fathers heart showed no signs of blockage and that he suffered cardiac arrest. He underwent hypothermic cooling, was on ventilator and put in an induced coma. As they started weening him off sedation (propofol) we were told that we should start seeing signs of responsiveness. The signs we started to see, like eyes opening, feet/arm movement, were chalked up to being reflexes rather than signs of responsiveness. These ‘signs’ started becoming more prominent; more jerky movements and eye fluttering. An EEG was done which showed seizures. We were so upset. The signs we thought to be positive were in fact the opposite. We were never told that a common side effect to anoic brain injury were seizures. Had the medical staff been diligent in testing my father to rule this out in the first place then seizures may have been better controlled.

It is 01-14-2019 and my father is still in the hospital. He is currently on 5 different anti epileptic medications. His most recent EEG didn’t show any seizure activity. This was an improvement from his previous tests. The sedation was decreased and then cut off entirely for about a week. I’d visit in the hospital and would see his eyes halfway ajar but no signs of responsiveness. We were told that 2/5 medications are also sedatives in a way. This past Friday night we were told that my father started seizing but the signs were a lot more prominent than they were in the past. That same night, his estranged sister visited him in the hospital and a part of me can’t help but feel like that may have triggered something. I wonder if my dad can hear what’s going on and that’s what caused intense seizure. But then another part of me thinks that may just have been coincidental. Either way, we were very hopeful seizures were being controlled until this most recent episode. Doctors said seizure activity at this stage isn’t a good sign but at the same time this still can’t say whether he will recover or not. We are still unsure of how long my fathers brain was without oxygen, the doctors predict approximately 20 minutes. I should also mention that my father was weened off the ventilator and a trach was put in his throat to assist with breathing. Since Friday’s episode his trach has been reconnected to the ventilator because he was put back in a coma with propofol.

We had a family meeting with the doctor who explained two options. 1) Continue along the same path of testing (eeg’s/mri’s/anti epileptic meds), with a big chance of my father not having the type of revovery he’d be happy about.
2) Start making this comfortable in terms of preparing for paliative care and death

The doctor asked the question of not what we would want but what would my father want. I can’t make this decision. My father obviously wouldn’t want to be on a feeding tube or have someone clean his ass but I also know that he would want to continue fighting until there is no fight left. Gosh this is hard.

January 15, 2019 - 9:25am
EmpowHER Guest

My dad suffered from severe anoxic brain injury on July 20th. He is now off the ventilator and breathing on his own. He still have a trach and feeding tube but is showing signs he is trying to wake up. Does anyone have any experience with the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers and a great brain centers that deals with Anoxic injuries? We are currently at Ltac.
Any information and stories of your loved one and outcome will help as we refuse to give up! We are constantly praying and trying everything. Newist drug the doctors are trying is Ritalin but we are very interested in the Hyperbolic Oxygen Chambers.

September 2, 2018 - 3:30pm
EmpowHER Guest

On July 9, 2017 my 63 year old dad suffered cardiac arrest and was without oxygen for 20 minutes which left him with an anoxic brain injury. After he was resuscitated he was in a coma and was placed in the ICU, and the doctors were telling us he might not ever wake up. By the grace of God my dad woke up the very next morning, but he had no memory of the past several years.

He spent a total of 5 months in the hospital and in-patient rehabilitation. When my dad was finally discharged he was nowhere near capable of caring for himself, so my husband and I moved him in with us. He can occasionally walk using his walker, but his balance is poor and he has a difficult time picking up his feet. We recently starting taking him to the local rec center pool where they have a lift to lower him into the water. It's amazing how well he can move and pick up his feet while in the water. The walking he's done in the pool is starting to transfer over to his walking on land. He struggles projecting his voice and speaking his thoughts, but all this is slowly improving as time goes on. He continues out-patient therapy at least once a week.

The one year anniversary of his injury just passed, and we have seen improvements with his speech, memory, and motor functions overall. He still has a long way to go, but I believe he'll be ok one day. I hope my story can give hope to many of you out there who has a loved one that is affected by a brain injury. Time heals, and I've put my trust in God that he'll heal my dad. May God bless you all. -Julianna

July 24, 2018 - 9:31pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am going through the same with my dad, he passed out and was without oxygen between 20 to 30 mins. He is still unconscious but partially breathing on his own. Reading your story gave me hope and I thank you for sharing and I am glad your dad is doing better.

October 28, 2018 - 8:51pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hello, I am going through a very similar situation. My mom has severe anoxic brain injury. After a week she opened her eyes but just stares at the ceiling. It has been 14 days and no response. What are the signs I should look for? Drs give me no hope and family is turning against me. If you can please share your experience. God bless.

July 31, 2018 - 10:52pm
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