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Dead For 13 Minutes, Man Makes Stunning Recovery

Rob Hull


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“It was dread. It was a huge, rising up of anxiety inside of my heart. I knew, something was wrong” said Pam.

Pastor Jim and his wife Pam were visiting Jim's parents in Maine. One evening while Jim was out for a walk, Pam had a sudden surge of fear and went to look for him.

Pam looks back to that day, “I got to the end of the driveway and down the hill, at the boat launch I saw two ambulances and a police car and there was my husband.”

No one knew what had happened to Jim, EMTs performed CPR and struggled to get a pulse.

Pam continues, “He was all purple and his eyes were fixed like glass. They were red and yellow. And it was like "My husband – this can't be happening."

Fearing the worst, Pam frantically called Paul, an elder their church.

Paul remembers the call, “She said, 'Paul, Paul, you've got to help me, I’m in trouble. Jim is laying on the road we don't know if a car hit him, but he has no pulse and I need you to pray.' And the Spirit rose up inside of me, And I said, 'Pam, he will live and not die.' And that's according to to . 'He will live and not die, and he will declare the goodness of God.'”

Meanwhile, EMTs were able to get a pulse and Jim was transported to Central Maine Medical Center.

Dr. Guzowski remembers Jim coming in, “The most we knew at that point was that his heart had stopped for 12-15 minutes, was reported downtime. That becomes important because, for every minute that your heart is stopped beyond a critical limit, you have decreased blood flow to all your organs, particularly your brain.  And we always worry about in that settings could there be a potential brain injury.” 

News about Jim quickly spread and in less than an hour over one hundred church members gathered to worship and pray.

Paul recalls, “For three hours we just praised God that no weapon formed against him would prosper, and every time throughout the day I thought about him, I did – I quoted that verse. "No weapon formed against him shall prosper, he shall live and not die."

Jim was placed in a drug-induced coma while receiving hypothermic therapy to prevent brain damage. Doctors were hoping he would wake up in 36 hours, but for days he remained unresponsive to stimulation.

Pam remembers her son working with Jim, “Our son is a physical medicine rehab doctor, and he just shouted at his father, slapped his hand, slapped his feet, moved him. I mean, he worked so hard to get his dad to come up out of the coma.”

Pam and Jim’s son Justin remembers, “The event happened on a Monday and it was a Friday and he really wasn’t making any sort of neurological recovery, and it was pretty concerning.”  

According to Dr. Guzowski, “Each day that passes that someone doesn’t wake up, we get more and more concerned, I know their sense of fear was there, mine was too.”  

The church continued to believe in God’s faithfulness, despite the negative reports.

“No matter what we heard, the condition and that he wasn't responding – and we didn't let that bother any of us. Because we walk by faith. Pastor Jim has taught us that, that we walk by faith and not by what's going on.” said Paul.

Pam continues, “Churches galore started praying for him. The Christian radio station just let it be known that Pastor Dumont needed our prayers.”

Jim remained in a coma. With an uncertain future, Justin's wife and children prepared to say goodbye to their grandfather.

“The 6th morning, at 7:30, I’ve been told, 'he’s got brain damage,'” said Pam.

Justin prepares his family, “And we said well, we should give the kids a chance to possibly say goodbye to their grandfather. Knowing that, you know, it may be kind of the last time they would see him.”

While Jim's grandkids prayed and sang to him, suddenly he opened his eyes.

Pam joyfully remembers, “My son came running into the waiting room, he said, 'mom you have got to go in there, and he’s coming alive mom.' It was just joy unspeakable. It was a miracle before the eyes of the nurses, and the technicians, be – they came in, tears in their eyes. "We've never seen anything like it.”

Jim recovered quickly with no brain damage. He is grateful for the faithful prayers of his congregation and community, and the goodness of God.

 “As I look back and I see how so many people rallied and I-I'm humbled. I’m most thankful for, obviously, for our faithful Lord and Savior Jesus, and, you know, because he's faithful,” says Jim.  

Pam adds, “You don't realize how much you love somebody until you see them gone. And now every day since it's like a gift.”

Doctors determined that an artery behind Jim’s heart dubbed "the widow maker" had collapsed and miraculously re-opened. Stints were put in to prevent any further failures. Jim's speedy recovery astonished not only his family but the medical community as well.

Justin smiles and says, “It’s really exciting to see how he’s been able to return to his level of independence, you know he’s able to do things that you know, we’re just astonished that people most of the time in those situations we don’t see that.”

Dr. Guzowski adds, “You know, we know what we know about the medical part of things, but what we don’t know is the factors outside of our control.  And the power of people’s faith is, is real.“

“Don't ever underestimate the power of our resurrected Savior. The Bible says, "He's able to do above and beyond what we can hope or imagine."
so, don't limit God," says Jim.   

Jim continues “I'm so grateful for how our church responded. And I-I just commended them, and they said, 'Well, you know, Pastor, we just did what-what we were taught.' You know? So, I would say to any pastor, 'Teach your people well.'"

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About The Author

Rob Hull

Rob Hull has been writing, shooting and producing stories for CBN since 2008. His love of sharing redemptive, Christ centered stories began with video productions at his local church in Bellingham Washington before moving to Nashville to join the CBN staff. He loves the process of creating emotionally moving images that help tell the story of God’s love for people.