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Five Amazing – and Real – Medical Miracles

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Shows like House and Grey’s Anatomy spin outrageous plots involving miracle cures, but do those kinds of medical marvels happen in real life? Actually, yes, they do. These cases from could all be ripped right from a television script, but the fact that they’re completely true makes them much, much more incredible.

1. Teen Lives 118 Days Without Heart
Fourteen-year-old D’Zhana Simmons received a transplant to replace her enlarged heart, but when the new organ failed to function properly, doctors had to remove it. Without another heart available, and with D’Zhana weakened from the surgery, the doctors had to come up with a stopgap measure: two artificial pumps that kept blood flowing in her body for almost four months. This was a daring move; when an artificial heart is used to sustain a patient, the patient’s own heart is usually left in the body. Finally, 118 days later, D’Zhana received another heart transplant, and it was so successful that she had a kidney transplant the very next day.

2. Blind Man Regains Sight After Having a Tooth Implanted in His Eye
Martin Jones, a forty-two-year-old builder from Rotherham, South Yorkshire, England, was blinded after an accident at work. Ten years later, he underwent an operation to implant part of his tooth in his eye and emerge from his world of darkness. The procedure, which had been performed fewer than fifty times in Britain, used the segment of tooth as a holder for a new lens grated from Jones’s skin. The Sussex Eye Clinic in Brighton, England, pioneered the revolutionary operation, which requires a living tooth because doctors suggest that the eye would reject a plastic equivalent. After his recovery, Mr. Jones was able to see his wife, Gill, whom he had married four years before, for the first time.

3. Mother Gets to Keep Both Twins After Choosing Only One
Doctors at Swedish Medical Center told Shannon and Mike Gimbel that they needed to terminate one of the twin girls they were expecting, or both would die. The twins had been diagnosed with twin-to-twin syndrome, or TTTS, a condition in which the two are connected by blood vessels and one twin literally drains the life out of the other. Left untreated, there is an 80 to 90 percent chance that one or both will die.

As Shannon and Mike struggled to come to terms with the suggestion to terminate the weaker baby, their physician, Dr. Kent Heyborne, approached them with another option. He’d made contact with a team of Utah surgeons who could perform laser surgery in the womb to cauterize the blood vessels that were connecting, and slowly killing, the twins. The surgery was successful, and both girls, Reese and McKenna Gimbel, were delivered at Swedish Medical Center two months later.


4. Faith Helps Boy Recover from Orthopedic Decapitation
Jordan Taylor’s skull separated from his vertebrae in a car accident; there was no connection between the bones in his neck and those in his head. This injury is called an orthopedic decapitation; doctors gave Jordan a 1 percent chance of survival.

Members of the Taylor family’s church heard about Jordan’s accident and began spreading the word to churches both local and nationwide. According to Jordan’s mother, at one time she knew of at least twenty churches that were praying for her son.

Whether or not those prayers were what guided Jordan back to health, he left the hospital and returned to school three months after his accident, with a metal plate, screws, and titanium rods in his head and neck, amazing even his most devout supporters with his quick recovery.

5. Paraplegic Man Bitten by Spider Walks Again
This story reminds me of those faith-healer television specials, but with a twist. David Blancarte was confined to a wheelchair for twenty years after a motorcycle accident, until a brown recluse spider bit him and miraculously allowed him to walk again. The bite sent Blancarte to the hospital and then physical therapy. While he was in therapy, a nurse noticed a spasm in Blancarte’s leg and ran some tests. Five days later, he was walking.

He didn’t walk far, though: Blancarte was arrested shortly after his big first step, for an outstanding warrant stemming from a domestic-abuse case, according to CBS News.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
These tales of medical cures are so shocking, they’re almost unbelievable. If I saw one of these stories as a plotline on House or Grey’s Anatomy, I’d think that some scriptwriter was soon to be fired for writing something so unrealistic. But all five of these cases are true and absolutely miraculous.



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