4-Year-Old's Heart Stopped Beating for 14 Hours, Then ‘Restarted’: ‘Incredible Thing That Occurred’

The boy had been diagnosed with strep A , which caused his body to go into sepsis and led to cardiac arrest

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of heart monitor


Stock image of heart monitor

A 4-year-old boy is lucky to be alive after his heart stopped beating for at least 14 hours before it miraculously started again, according to news sources.

Destiny Anderson and Dominique McDaniel who are parents of Cartier McDaniel, 4, told NBC News and KDVR-TV that they thought their son was dead after he went into cardiac arrest and his heart stopped beating.

They told KDVR-TV that it all began one day when Cartier started experiencing fever, chills, frequent urination and other symptoms. He only got worse the next day, as they noted to the outlets that his hands and feet had turned cold, his mouth began turning blue and his breathing became labored.

They rushed him to the emergency at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Shortly after they arrived at the hospital, the parents said their son went into cardiac arrest as hospital staff tried to revive him with CPR.

<p> John Greim/LightRocket via Getty</p> Children's Hospital Colorado

John Greim/LightRocket via Getty

Children's Hospital Colorado

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“The doctors were pressing on his chest,” Anderson recalled to NBC News. “I started crying and getting hysterical.”

One of the boy’s doctors, Dr. Aline Maddux, told KDVR-TV that Cartier had been diagnosed with strep A , which caused his body to go into sepsis, in which infection-fighting processes turn on the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The doctors eventually determined that the boy be put on a type of life support called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), or a machine that pumps blood outside of the body and oxygenates it in order to help vital organs like the heart rest while recovering from serious illness or injury. The doctors told the family that the longer Cartier’s heart stopped working, the less of a chance of survival he had, per KDVR-TV.

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He was kept on the machine overnight and into the early hours of the morning as family members planned their goodbyes and said prayers that he would make it out okay, the outlet reported.

“I feared that they were going to tell us that our son was gone,” Anderson told KDVR-TV.

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After at least 14 hours of being at a standstill, his heart started beating again. Dr. Aline Maddux, one of the boy’s doctors recalled to the outlet, “His heart just restarted! That was really an incredible thing that occurred.”

“Everybody else was jumping up and screaming and everything,” Anderson added of the moment her son’s heart started again. “I just still couldn’t process what was going on … like you gave me the worst news of my life to the best news of my life.”

A medical expert told NBC News that it is unclear what the boy’s prognosis will be in the future as it's unclear what kind of effects his heart stopping had on his brain, kidneys or other organs. However, the family told the outlet that they are taking it day by day.

His loved ones also told KDVR-TV that Cartier was likely to stay in the hospital for a few more weeks and possibly months in order to recover.

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