RE: Brain injury resulting from lack of oxygen

My father was a considerably healthy 61 year old man 2 weeks ago. On Wednesday, November 10th he went into his regular doctor for a stress test after having some difficulties breathing after a football game. The doctor immediately sent him to the local hospital because he "failed" the stress test. He was then told he had 3 clogged arteries and would need to have triple bypass surgery immediately to correct the problem and since he was in such good health he could be considered for robotic bypass which we were told is less invasive and had a shorter recovery time than the traditional bypass. He was scheduled for surgery on Monday, November 15th and the surgery went well. He was awake after the surgery and even spoke to my step mother once the breathing tube was removed. At 2:00 AM on Tuesday morning his blood pressure became very low, the surgeon determined he was losing blood and decided to operate before he was moved to the operating room but after being put under again his heart stopped. We are being told his heart stopped and his brain lacked oxygen for around 6 to 7 minutes. He was put onto the bypass machine and the surgeon immediately worked to repair a few broken stitches in his arteries. After the surgery we were told they fixed everything and he would be ok. Two full days went by without mention of any issues and even though he had not woken up it was considered normal after surgery. On the third day it was finally mentioned to us that it may be good to have the neurologist come in and do some tests to see what if anything may be wrong. On the fourth day the neurologist finally showed up and ran the tests on him then reported back to us the following day with horrible news. He stated that due to the low blood pressure and the heart stopping my father had lacked oxygen to his brain and it has caused unrecoverable damage.

Although he is not considered brain dead, as most of his organs are still functioning and there is still function in his brain stem, he would never recover. In the neurologists words "0 chance of recovery". His EEG showed "low amplitude" according to the neurologist.

I am still terribly confused as to why this all occurred and why it took so long for us to be informed of this issue. The hospital has been extremely difficult to deal with and we even had the neurologist meet with us to explain without getting any real information beyond what we already knew. We even seemed to anger them by asking questions about what occurred and how we are treating it going forward.

I am also wondering if there is anything we can do to improve his condition. I understand he will never be 100% but there has got to be something we can try, some treatment that can be done to help him try to recover.

I just feel like the hospital is giving us no options and no course of treatment even for the short term. I have no problem with excepting this but I feel it was a quick answer to a very complicated situation that gave us no hope of ever having our father again.

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I just read your post 4 times and I'll probably do it until I memorize it. That may not be possible, though, because of my own anoxic brain injury. If there's any thought that I may be brain dead, you can probably judge my mental activity from my writing. I'm saying that many of us have been in the same state as your Dad but we have recovered to one extent or another. After only two weeks, and without a factual diagnosis based on brain scans, etc, there is NO WAY to say that your Dad cannot recover from this. You can easily be deceived by his appearance and the effects of the drugs that he's being given.
I am so glad that you have come to this site. At the same time, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad and the agony that it is causing you. My family was told the same things and even worse. To the insurance company's dismay, I'm still here, two years and 7 months later. Only thing is, I had a stress test last week and it may have caused me more problems with my heart, so I was surprised to read what you had to say. As for the robot, it seems it didn't have much surgical experience. Most likely, though, there was a human pulling the levers and it sounds like the hospital is scared stool-less right now.
Now, I say this so often, that it starts to sound crazy, but in the end, it's almost always right:

If you don't yet have a lawyer, GET ONE! If you do, GET A BETTER ONE!! Don't waste a minute. This is exactly what the doctors are doing!

From the bottom of my heart, Kari, and even at the risk of being wrong, I am saying that your Dad has as good a chance as the rest of us, but right now, as you describe things, he is in serious trouble. The doctors who were your "helpers" two weeks ago, have now run from you and they are hiding behind the wallets of the hospital attorneys. I don't live far from Loveland and if I could get myself there, I would come just to sit by your Dad and growl at any brain-dead/heart-dead neurologist who comes into his room.
You'll have to decide who may be telling you the right or wrong things, here, but I ask you - please - don't quickly dismiss anything that I may say and don't misunderstand my gruff attitude. Right now, I could be in that bed instead of your Dad but I couldn't feel any worse. I DON'T like the way your Dad and your family is being treated and I wouldn't want you to think otherwise.
Please have faith and be strong for your family. Two weeks is like nothing and in my mind, there is no decision that you have to make except to give your Dad every chance to live that he ever gave you. I do hope the situation quickly improves for you.
My prayers are for your Dad and my heart is with all of you. May God stand by you now, Kari.

Bob Turri
Kettering, OH

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Hi Kari,

I'm very sorry about your Dad. My Dad suffered a sudden cardiac arrest on April 8th and we aren't sure how long he was down. We are pretty sure it was only a few minutes before I started CPR on him, since it happened at home. But it seemed to take forever for the paramedics to get here and start his heart again. My Dad, after 7 1/2 months, remains in what they call a persistent vegetative state even though he has not been evaluated by a neurologists in about 5 months. We've seen improvement in him and he's been following commands recently. He's making babysteps in progression, yet, no one wants to get involved with his case. My Dad was only 62 when this now 63.

I would get a second opinion from a different neurologist on the "0" recovery b/c from what I've read, and have heard...that's an impossible statement to make and down right cruel to tell a family. We've had horrible experiences and good one's but very far and few give us hope. Was this neurologist an attending doctor or an intern? Stay clear of interns, don't even listen to a word they say. You and I know more then interns! We had an intern evaluate my Dad for five minutes to come out of the room and tell us he's blind...point blank. My Dad has cortical blindness which is that his sight comes and goes, may be blurry at times and normal at other times, ect. If he was blind, I don't think he'd be able to track me across the room or blink his eyes when my hand gets too close to his face.

In my opinion, send him to a different hospital. Call one in your area that is good and see if they will take him. To me, it sounds like negligence already and don't put up with that. My Dad was in Yale for 5 months and they nearly killed him due to poor nursing care. They also wanted to do surgery after surgery that he didn't's all about them making money. I'm a new nurse and am finding out what a horrible health system we have. I'm sorry if I'm being negative, but I've been hardened after dealing w/ this for 7 months and am fed up. You have to be on top of it all the time...not just w/ a brain injury but w/ the nurses and little things like positioning correctly that can make or break your Dad.

I'm baffled at 5-7 minutes and 0 recovery?!?! Definately get another opinion!!

I'm so sorry you are going through this, I know how it feels. I hope and pray for your Dad's recovery. If you have any questions (I'm unfortunately a pro at this situation) please don't hesitate to ask, or if you need to talk or vent! You can talk to me on here or my email address is

Take care of yourself too!!

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Hi Kari:

You have found a great site! Unfortunately we are pros at this journey that you are joining. I can't add anything to Bob and Stacey's comments because they gave you really good advice. We will give you the answers that we have found along the way that the medical profession won't. You may want to read former posts on this site. They are very, very informative. Stay strong! It is a worthwhile roller coaster ride.


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Jim sleeps here as I type and I will be hopeing your day has some better news to offer. I agree minutes are a misnomer. Ruth

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Dear Kari,
I'm so sorry about your Dad but it's much too soon to give up hope. As Stacey, my daughter explained to you, sometimes recovery of any sort takes months but you will eventually see something, even if the progress is very slow. I get so excited when I go to the hospital and the nurses tell me that Joe was totally cooperative with mouth care and he opened his mouth for them on command and held it open until they finished. It's been 7 and a half months but we have seen small improvements. The one thing I always try to do is praise him when he does something that we ask and I reinforce it everyday. The brain is like a computer and once it learns something it continues to remember. I won't lie to you, it's an agonizing process and we don't know how far he will get with recovery. I just feel that everyday that he is still with us, is a miracle because he did die back in June and maybe a new drug or one that we haven't tried yet will do the trick. It's also possible that Joe is just taking his good old time coming back to us, he always was a procrastinator. My heart goes out to you and your family, this is such a hard thing to go through. It's a little like living in limbo. Take care and god bless. Valerie

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Hi Kari!

I know what you feel, I went through this myself. I am very sorry for your Dad and your family. Please read my husband's story and don't give up hope!

Based on the medical documentation he was without heartbeat and proper oxygen supply for 45 minutes! And now he is with us, taking care of himself totally on his own, has a logical thinking and his personality is just like before. He still has memory issues and balance problem, BUT he is here and quite well!

Physical theraphy is very important to have it done as often as possible for your Dad now. Try to give him as much stimuly as possible.

God bless you and your Dad!

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I am praying for you because I am thru this with my dad.......Change doctors,hospital,etc., do what NEEDS to be done BUT NEVER GIVE UP!!! Remember "For with God NOTHING shall be impossible" >St. Luke 1:37

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november 22 my father who was 62 years old was waiting for his bus to go home he was in a argument with his girlfriend on the phone she was harrasing him he had asth a ma and copd anyways he was seen pacing back in forth then he tried to get his asthma inhaler and he could not get it to work he went to sit on a stoop and fell backwards and passed out someone then checked on him and could not get a pulse that person went and called 911 the paramedics could not get a heart reading and started cpr they had to shock him to get his heart started he when he got to the hospital they estimated his brain was with out oxygen for 5 to 15 minutes they placed him in icu he was on responsive and did not wake up he was in a coma for 11 days he was on oxygen machine and fedding tubes he was having seizures he was shaking ? that what they say was the cause of his shaking and jerking they did one eeg i think thats what it is called it that was one day afte did not rur he got there theyn anymore tests they said he would never even open his eyes again anyways aroun d day 4 or 5 he started opening his eyes and following me and my sister aroud the room with his eyes and he squeezed my sisters hand and my hand hthe doctors at the hospital dismissed that as nothing saying that he he did not do that and he was not following us with his eyes they everyday kept pressuring us to take him off of life support and i saked for them to run more tests and get a second opinion and they refused saying that there was no point of running any more tests this doctor reminded me of doctor kovorkian i even thru him out of the room one time i asked the hospital to take him off the case and they refused this doctor kept insisting on taking him of the breating tubes anyways yesterday when me my sister and my fathers sister linda came to visit my father yesterday my father shaking stopped and he was following me and my sister with his eyes and my aunt noticed when i was talking to him when i was rubbing his head and looking in his eyes that he was trying to talk to me she said that it looked like he was saying that he loved me well anyways that day that day that doctor and hospital social worker asked to speak to my sister and my aunt and i about his treatment hand this doctor said he was removing the brething tubes because he could breath on his own and my sister and i said that we did not want to do that and the hospital said they did not need our permission to do that we are his proxy next of kin we we wanted a second and this doctor and hospital social worker said that they would not run any more so my sister and i said well if he does not breath on his own would they put the breathing tube back in and they said he would and also if he was to have another heart attack they said they would give him defib and try to save him well around 5 5 30 last nite before they were going to take the breathing tubes out my sister and i where talking to my father and when i was talking to him letting him know i loved him and telling him to keep fighting and he was looking right in my eyes and he was tearing up and i read his lips because u could tell he was trying to speak he i read his lips and he said helpm me and he looked scared and my sister said the same thing aswell as my aunt about 15 minutes later that quack doc came in and removed the breathing machine and automaticlly his breathing dipped and they gave him a regular oxygen mask his brething stabilized anywhere from 70 to ed in themid 90s we steyed in the room the whole nite my sister my aunt my sisters kids and my mom who is my dads ex wife the only woman he ever truely loved who he told me and everyone u ask that any ways he was fint the whole nite he wanted to keep fighting and getting better around 930 my aunt and i went down to the chapel to pray and go get some air outside for a min before we went down there my aunt asked one of the nurses on duty was a doctor gonna come check on him because there hadnt been a doctor to come check on him in a long while or a nurse and she said probably not and my aunt said why is my brother going to die tonight and the nurse i said to her thats the plan liked they wehre planning o do something to him any ways my aunt and i went down satirs to go to the chapel to pray and get air when we left he was fine my sister mom and the kids where still in the room with him so we went to go to the chapel and get some air when we where finished my aunt and i went back up stairs to go back into the room to be with him and my sister was by the nurses desk and she said we had to leave the room because they wanted to change him they claimed he had a bowel movement there is no way they would of known he had a bowel movement they never came in the room plus my sister and mom both said he did not they said that would take 5 to 10 minutes to do that so my sister asked if me and my aunt would go outside with her to help her watch the kids so we did when we where going back upstairs i had a sick feeling they did something to him because 3 security guards followed us into the elavator when my aunt mom and sister and i went back into the icu tthe first thing i noticed was his heart and vital monitor was removed and they try to say he died because of having a bowel movement my sister had a mini nervous breakdown ad thru her self on top of him and i kinda had one to during the comotion i was yelling at them that they killed my father while this was going on they where tearing the pictures off the wall and packing our stuff up while we where in the room and trying to take my sister off of him i was yelling at them to get there hads off of her and my aunt and my mom was crying jimmy no that was his name and my goddaughter was crying that shewanted her grandpa and they where cold people saying we had to get out of there i was grabbing the pictures out of there hands this and because i did that hey security kicked me out of the hospital i didnt get to have anytime with him after the fact my sister noticed that his feeding machine was empty we did not approve taking him off life support he wanted to fight he was getting better albeit minimally and he wanted to live this hospital murderd him and we think that this guy that was in the room was with the insurance company who was removing his and our stuff please help i cannot let this not be known to the world my email is my phone number is 4134267442 this hospital murdered him

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Thanks for your messages. I've been studying, I should say I've been driven to study Hypoxic Ischemia, and now have spent a good amount of time in this area of research.
I have found that there is a trigger that will delay brain death: in cardiac arrest victims, suffocation victims, sleep apnea, electrocution, possibly SIDS - and my research can be found at
The Dobkin Technique to delay brain damage is to apply cold water, or cold wet compresses to the face and eyes of the victim. This is an emergency time-buying procedure that is used to delay the onset of brain damage until first emergency responders can come to the scene. My be self applied, described over the phone, or used in conjunction with CPR.
The Dobkin Technique triggers the Mammalian Diving Reflex - the same reflex that allows cold water drowning victims to be completely submerged for up to an hour, and not have brain damage when revived. I have discovered the actual trigger point is the eyes, as it travels though the ophthalmic nerve, so all that is necessary is wet cold (58 degrees or cooler) compresses on the eyes of the victim to delay brain damage. Hope this is helpful.
Jeffrey Dobkin. ... And now I ask you to help others like yourself to delay brain death when oxygen isn't getting to the brain. Please spread this word of The Dobkin Technique: Please email is to your friends. Thank you.

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Mr. Bob, your reply touched me deep down inside.

Ms. Kari: Low Blood Pressure could have also been a sign of an INFECTION in your Dad's body somewhere. How could they decide to take him into surgery without first STABILIZING HIM? Oh GOD! This is just sooooo terribly wrong! As Bob recommended, consult with an Attorney. There are plenty out there that will take your case on a contingency basis...(no fee If no recovery) and hurry! There are Statutes of Limitations on Damages being sought; check into it, you have plenty of time I believe.

There are a lot of things I DON'T KNOW MEDICALLY;
But one thing I DO KNOW: LOW BLOOD PRESSURE IS A SIGN OF SEPSIS. Tests should have been taken on your Dad to discover the Bug along with other things they look for like his blood count, etc.. In the meantime, there are other methods for raising Low Blood Pressure. They could have resulted to FLUIDS through an IV, and if that did not help, then they could have resulted to Meds, like Dopamine and the last resort medication, LEVOPHED! if the Dopamine did not work as well.
Even in Home Health Care, I had my son rushed to the Hospital on Dec. 28, 2010 because of a declining Blood Pressure, and sure enough, he was septic and had to be hospitalized.

I feel so terribly sorry for you, your Dad, and family. It is my sincerest prayers that your Dad will make a surprising TURN-AROUND for the better and QUICKLY! Keep talking to him anyhow, and play his favorite music and television shows because he can hear, no doubt about it. Touch him, kiss him, pray with him, and love him more. HE WILL RESPOND! HE WILL IMPROVE. Don't settle for those scare tactics. Keep asking questions and write down the answers. Don't be intimidated by their foolishness of being angry. BEEN THERE, WENT THROUGH ALL THAT! DEMAND TO KNOW THE PLAN OF CARE! and if you choose Life for your Dad, FIGHT FOR HIM!

TIME HEALS ALL WOUNDS: The saying IS Very True.

GOD Bless;
LillyDearest / Jan.2011

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