WILLIAMSPORT, Pennsylvania — A 22-year-old local man was reunited on Friday with the medical team at UMPC Williamsport, who saved his life after suffering a serious, as-yet-undiagnosed heart attack in June.
Benjamin Gaverick was a healthy 21-year-old when he collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.
Joy Gaberick, Ben’s mother and ICU nurse at UMPC Williamsport, said:
Ben’s father, Joy, and Barry rush to Ben’s house after being informed that he has collapsed from Ben’s girlfriend, Morgan. When they arrived, I found my friend had already performed CPR on him before the EMT arrived.
“We arrived at the scene and found bystanders and neighbors who heard it on the scanner doing CPR,” Joy said. “I can’t say enough good things about that part and the bystander CPR that was performed. It was key to his survival. Without it, he wouldn’t be here.”
When EMS arrived, they attempted to resuscitate Ben using a defibrillator and transported him to Geisinger Jersey Shore Hospital.
“They also did miraculous work to stabilize him, but they soon realized that was out of their scope,” said Joy.
Joy was informed that they were going to transfer Ben to a hospital that had a vacant bed, and said, “I hope UPMC has a bed.” was transferred to UMPC Williamsport.
When Ben arrived at UMPC, he was put on life support with ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygen Therapy), which is used to provide cardiac and respiratory support.
“There were some comments from experts, not mine, but I heard them,” Barry said. “Ben was so bad that the experts who see this every day gave him his 10% chance. That’s it.”
Joy said when Ben arrived at UPMC everyone was ready for him and knew what needed to be done. She said the people in the room were “not just colleagues, they were friends.”
Ben was stable, but he had a long way to go.
Dr. Mark Osevala, UPMC cardiothoracic surgeon and member of Ben’s team, said: he was sedated. He was seriously ill in that his lungs were very poorly oxygenated. His heart function was weak. He had low blood pressure. ”
“His heart was so weak from the event that it was rejecting his remaining organs, and his organs were starting to fail,” Joy said.
This is when the decision was made to implant an Impella heart pump that would make Ben’s heart beat again.
Osevala said no blockage was seen during implantation of the impeller device that would have led to diagnosing the event as a heart attack.
“He didn’t have a real heart attack,” Osevala said. “He may have contracted a virus that suddenly affected heart function and caused cardiac arrest, or he may have had some other unknown kind of disease. It may be a mystery.
Despite a mysterious illness, the Impella device did its job and got Ben’s heart beating again.
“It was miraculous,” said Joy. “Within 24 hours, everything started to get better. He was still very critically ill with ventilator support and his ECMO oxygenating his blood, but his heart started to improve. I did.”
Questions about Ben’s brain function remained after the Impella device was removed five days later.
The morning they started weaning Ben from the sedative, Barry knelt by Ben’s hospital bed and said a prayer.
“It wasn’t half an hour later [Ben] I woke up and started to wiggle and move a little bit,” said Joy. “We were right there and ‘Ben, can you hear me?'” he said. and he nodded. It was… unbelievable. It was a moment I will never forget. It’s the best moment in our life. ”
The ECMO and ventilator were removed after two weeks, and Ben entered rehab with the goal of being home by his 22nd birthday, which he achieved. He was hospitalized for a total of 28 days, of which his 16 days were intubated.
Ben had been intubated for so long that he had difficulty swallowing. He also had to restore a significant amount of muscle that had atrophied from being immobile for so long.
Osevala says she recovered thanks to excellent bedside care and “love and support” from Ben’s family.
“Here’s a life-changing drug,” Joy told the medical team. “As a team, we made the right decisions at the right time, using the most innovative and cutting-edge treatments available to us. [Ben] That’s what I’m here for. ”
“What a job, what a team,” said Barry, praising the team’s “incredible professionalism and tender care.”
“I can only thank you [the medical team] Enough to get me back on my feet and get me where I am,” said Ben.
https://www.northcentralpa.com/life/health/22-year-old-man-reunites-with-the-upmc-team-that-saved-his-life/article_2409ec0c-4ed8-11ed-8bc2-33baa133a179.html 22-year-old man reunites with life-saving UPMC team | Health