Man doctors expected to be brain dead wakes up after family switch off life support

‘It was pretty much a miracle,’ says T Scott Marr after recovery

Alex Matthews-King
Health Correspondent
Saturday 05 January 2019 13:44
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'It was a miracle' Man doctors expected to be brain dead wakes up after family switch off life support

A man who doctors believed would never recover consciousness woke up after his family took the decision to take him off life support and said their goodbyes.

Father-of-four T Scott Marr was diagnosed with a stroke after being found in bed in his Nebraska home, unresponsive but breathing, on 12 December.

Doctors saw no improvement in his neurological state, with significant brain swelling leading them to conclude he would end up brain dead with little hope of recovery.

Mr Marr had been explicit with his family that he did not want to be kept alive through mechanical resuscitation, but after his unexpected recovery they have taken to calling him the “miracle man”.

“He had always said, ‘I never want you guys to see me lying in a hospital bed, lying in a nursing home’,” Mr Mar’s daughter, Preston Marr, told a press conference. “They told us he was on his way to brain death, so we said our goodbyes before extubating him, all the monitors were shut off and we waited by his side.”

However, Mr Marr kept breathing and his condition improved the next day when the family returned, missing an appointment they had scheduled with the funeral director.

“I asked him to move his thumbs, and he slowly moved his thumbs, and I asked him to wiggle his toes, and he wiggled all his toes really slightly,” Ms Marr said.

Further testing revealed the cause of the concerning swelling was a condition called posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, which does not typically cause the severe swelling Mr Marr experienced.

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Mr Marr himself said: “I don’t want to make this into a huge religious thing but I’ll tell you what: It was pretty much a miracle.”

Mr Marr’s physician Dr Rebecca Runge said: “It’s commonly caused by high blood pressure, but there are many things that can cause it. We were worried in this case that this was not a reversible process and that it was going to proceed to brain death.”

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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