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Heart Attack No Match for Prayer

After suffering a massive heart attack, Bruce's prognosis was grim. His wife and church members prayed as the doctors made every effort to save his life, and six days later they witnessed the miraculous. Read Transcript


All clear.

Shock delivered.

Pulse check.

No pulse.

Resume CPR.

Do we have anything, guys?

What's our next plan of action?

July 16th, 2016 was like most Saturdays for Bruce Richardson.

He was in a men's prayer breakfast at church,

and had just taken his seat.

DOUG ATKINS: I'm sitting directly across from Bruce.

I looked over, and I see Bruce, and he just rolled back,

and his eyes rolled back in his head,

and his left arm goes over that chair, and he hits the floor.

The men started CPR and called 9-1-1.

EMTs arrived within minutes, and confirmed

Bruce was having a massive heart attack.

Started giving the proper medications

that we needed to give.

We defibrillated several times throughout the run.

And nothing just seemed to be working.

For all purposes, he was gone.

We hadn't seen any breathing.

Nobody said anything about a heartbeat.

And so we began to pray.

After 20 minutes, when he was still in v-fib,

it was time to make some other decisions.

Out of options, they called the ER

and reached Dr. Ryan Bence.

As a last-ditch effort, he told them

to try a radical, seldom-used technique.

Had them hook up two defibrillators to the patient,

and almost simultaneously shock using the two defibrillators.

And they were able to get a pulse back.

As Bruce was being rushed to the ER,

his wife, Dee, had been contacted,

and was on her way to the hospital

with a friend from church.

The only thing they told her was that Bruce had passed out.

I had a fear of the unknown.

I didn't know what the passout meant.

Your mind can go in many different directions.

I just wanted to get to the hospital.

Meanwhile, the ambulance had gotten Bruce to the hospital,

but his heart had stopped again.

RYAN BENCE: When they arrived, they were actively doing CPR.

The patient was blue, blue as the color of my scrubs.

That certainly was a poor prognosis.

Even if Bruce did survive, he could have severe brain damage.

But that didn't stop Dr. Bence and his team

to make every effort to save his life.

RYAN BENCE: Six, seven minutes without oxygen to the brain,

and you begin to exhibit some neurologic injury to the brain.

And he had had we think well over 47 minutes.

We typically have about a 0.8 chance of even getting

a pulse back after 30 minutes.

Still just an incredibly poor prognosis.

When Dee arrived, she was escorted

to the room where the medical team was

working to save her husband.

That was hard.

It was hard because he's got apparatuses in his mouth,

and he's obviously not the right color.

You know, it was hard.

God has to make this right.

That's what I thought.

God has to make this right.

Where else do you turn, you know, but to God.

Dee wasn't the only one crying out to God.

The men from church and other friends came to pray.

And we didn't understand exactly why

this was taking place, didn't need to understand that.

But basically, we were asking for God to intervene.

Then finally, doctors got a steady pulse.

RYAN BENCE: His color pinked up, and it

started kind of making some purposeful movements, which

still I can't fully explain how that recovery occurred

so rapidly.

But it was quite impressive to see.

Dr. Bence said to me, he said, I

think we've seen a miracle here today.

Doctors found that the circumflex artery

was 100% blocked.

They inserted a stent to restore blood flow,

but they still had concerns.

He was considered clinically dead, total an hour

and seven minutes with no pulse.

Because Bruce had been without oxygen for that length of time,

it could have been total brain damage.

And so there was still a fear, but I had a peace

that I can't explain.

And I look back at it now, and I think that's--

it's only because of prayer.

Bruce improved dramatically over the next few days.

The doctors were astounded because he had

started to breathe on his own.

And when the respiratory therapist took the vent tube

out, he said hello.

And you know, we all just looked at each other,

and he just looked at us.

Bruce just stared at us.

And I truly believe God was saying to us through Bruce,

I'm here.

I am working in this situation.

And it gave us that peace.

In less than a week, Bruce was cleared to go home.

BRUCE RICHARDSON: It is just an absolute miracle

that I was able to walk out of that hospital six days later.

I'm only here because of prayer.

Today, Bruce is healthy, and shows no sign of brain damage.

He loves spending time with his family,

and sharing his miracle with others.

I believe I'm here to share the story of hope

and encouragement to those who don't have some hope

and encouragement, and to believe

in prayer, the power of prayer.

I know that God was a miracle-working God,

because that's his promise, that I will never leave you or I

will never forsake you.

And I thank God that day that he didn't.

So I'm thankful, I'm grateful, and I

know God has done this to give other people hope.

And I hope it does.

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