broken heartMending a metaphorical heart is hard enough -- but healing a beating human heart? No easy task. Particularly not in the case of 23-year-old Michael Crowe, whose ticker went from top-notch to toxic (literally) in just a matter of days.

The Nebraska student thought he had a plain old run-of-the-mill flu bug -- fever, chills, vomiting. After taking a blood sample, his doctor thought the same thing. Except bed rest and fluids didn't make Crowe's "bug" disappear; in fact, two days later his mother found him sitting on the couch "frozen" stiff as a statue but sweating profusely.

Crowe was rushed to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with acute myocarditis, or inflammation of the heart muscle. The condition, which is uncommon but can be caused by a viral infection, is serious: Michael's heart was functioning at only 10 percent efficiency; his other organs were beginning to fail. Doctors told the family his only hope was a heart transplant -- but no heart was available. All they could do was hook him up to a machine which would take over his heart and lung functions and filter his blood while he waited for a donor heart.

As weeks passed, Crowe's condition grew rapidly worse. Finally, the "perfect" heart was found -- and then, in yet another cruel twist of fate, Michael developed blood poisoning, which meant he wouldn't survive transplant surgery.

That's when one of his doctors noticed that his blood pressure was rising. 

Somehow, the left side of his heart had repaired itself! And it gets better: After being switched to a machine that assisted only the right side of his heart for a few days, his entire heart was back to functioning normally!

Even Crowe's doctors are calling his recovery a "miracle." And while Crowe will have to take medications and follow a low-sodium diet for some time, an MRI showed no "permanent damage or scars."

Amazing, right?! Crowe's family chalks it up to the "power of prayer," along with "excellent medical care." What do you think?

Was Michael Crowe's incredible recovery a miracle?

 

Image via David Goehring/Flickr