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A miracle on Mount Rainier?


Mount Rainier, Washington, US Credit: Stan Shebs/Wikipedia/Creative Commons 3.0

I recently read several articles in the secular media on the remarkable and miraculous recovery of Michael Knapinski, 45, after he was caught in a blizzard while hiking on Mount Rainier in Washington, USA.

As I read these stories, I increasingly wondered if God had been involved in this miracle.

Here is what happened. Michael was out hiking with his cousin on the morning of Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020 when they were hit by a blizzard. Michael was using snow shoes and his cousin was skiing, so they decided to head back separately and meet up later at Paradise, an information center lower down on the mountain.

As he was snowshoeing back, Michael was hit by whiteout conditions from the blizzard and was unable to tell where he was going. He is uncertain what happened next, but by the bruises and cuts requiring stitches on his body, it looks like he fell.

When Michael still hadn’t showed up at Paradise that evening, his cousin reported him missing to the Park Services. However, because of the storm, the Park Services were unable to send out search teams until Sunday afternoon when a helicopter found Michael unconscious, but alive, near Glacier Bridge.

Overnight, the temperature had dropped to around 16 F (-9 Celsius).

After his recovery by a land rescue team, Michael was immediately helicoptered to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. Medical staff reported that when he arrived, Michael’s core temperature was 70 degrees F and his heart beat erratic meaning it was not pumping blood to his body.

Shortly after his arrival, Michael’s heart stopped and for the next 45 minutes medical staff performed CPR and used a system that takes blood out of the body, cleans out the CO2, re-oxygenizes it, warms it and sends it back into his body.

Dr. Nick Johnson told ABC News:

“I would say the odds were against him. We certainly see a lot of people who spend nights in a cold, but he was one of the coldest people that I’ve seen arrive at the hospital, lose their pulse, have a cardiac arrest and survive.”

That last line reminds me of another similar story. READ: Some call it a miracle: She survived COVID, a stroke, heart attack and being declared brain-dead

The medical staff were eventually able to restart Michael’s heart, but there was still uncertainty on whether he would make it and if he did what kind of condition he would be in mentally when he came out of his coma. Medical staff spent the night with him to make sure he was stabilized and two days later Michael woke from his coma and according to the nurse immediately asked to call his family.

Dr. Saman Arbabi told the New York Times:

“He was as dead as somebody gets before they are truly dead. For this person to come back and his mental status to be great, it is as miraculous as it gets in medicine.”

Without a doubt, the medical staff played an incredible role in Michael’s amazing recovery, but I wonder if they had a helping hand from God. The Seattle Times added this single line tidbit about Michael.

He not only volunteers with the Salvation Army’s food bank, but also works with Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, Washington building houses for foster Children. Overlake is an evangelical, charismatic church.

Michael will need therapy to fully recover from the ordeal, but doctors are optimistic.

READ: ‘God is Great’: Lost Hiker rescued, brought back from the dead in ‘miracle’ recovery AND ‘He came back from the dead’: Lost Mount Rainier hiker starts to recover after rescue in whiteout conditions AND Hiker reflects on being revived after going missing in mountain in freezing weather AND Hiker Rescued From Mount Rainier Makes ‘Miraculous’ Recovery

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