Toddler Found in Icy Creek Without Pulse Revived After 101 Straight Minutes of CPR

A 22-month-old Pennsylvania boy was revived by one hour and 41 minutes of CPR after his lifeless body was extracted from an icy creek. Gardell Martin returned home on Sunday after a recovery nearly as miraculous as his rescue, suffering no apparent lingering effects from the incident, according to The Star.

“It’s not only extraordinarily rare that we got the kid back, but what’s even more extraordinary is the rate at which he recovered and the completeness of his recovery,” said Dr. Frank Maffei, director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Geisinger’s Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.

On March 11, Gardell and his two brothers were playing on the grounds of his family’s two-hectare estate in Mifflinburg when he fell into the stream that runs through the property and was swiftly carried away by the strong current.

From The Star:

His 7-year-old brother, Greg, ran into the house and screamed that he couldn’t find Gardell. Their mother, Rose Martin, did a quick search of the property before realizing her young son had likely fallen into the creek, which was swollen because of melting snow. She called 911 while her two teenage daughters began walking downstream in a frantic search for the toddler.

A neighbor soon discovered Gardell nearly a quarter-mile away, trapped between a tree branch and the water rushing around him. An ambulance crew arrived, found the boy had no pulse, and began CPR. His body temperature was at 77 degrees Fahrenheit.

The resuscitation continued uninterrupted for 101 minutes, as the boy was shuffled through an ambulance, a community hospital, a medical helicopter, and finally in the emergency room operated by Janet Weis in Geisinger Medical Center.

The boy’s advanced hypothermia actually worked to Gardell’s advantage in this case by slowing his metabolism and giving his organs a buffer to protect against cardiac arrest.

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