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Sam Schmid Friday Success Story

Sam Schmid, was an Arizona college, business major who was wounded in a five car accident on October 19, 2011.

His brain injuries were so severe that he was air lifted to Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, where he had surgery for a life-threatening aneurysm.

They were almost ready to take him off of life support when he miraculously recovered.  They had approached the family about organ donation.

Sam’s mother, Susan Regan, said the hospital staff had began advising them of Sam’s “quality of life”.

“At some point, I knew we had to make a decision and I kept praying, she said.

Dr. Robert Spetzler

He was treated by Dr. Robert Spetzler, who is a world-renowned neurosurgeon who specializes in cerebrovascular disease and skull base tumors. He has been involved in pioneering the technique of hypothermia and cardiac arrest for the treatment of difficult brain lesions.

Dr. Spetzler is the doctor that trained the physician that operated on Congressman Gabrielle Gifford.

Dr Spetzler said Sam’s extraordinary recovery was “like fireworks all going off at the same time.”

“It looked like all the odds were stacked against him.”

“I am dumb-founded with his incredible recovery in such a short time,” Spetzler told ABC News.

“You get incredible highs when you save someone facing neurological devastation or death,’ said Spetzler. ‘That is counter-pointed by the incredible lows when you fail to help someone.”

Dr. Spetzler wasn’t willing to speculate what a comatose patient hears. But he admits, “There are so many things we don’t understand about the brain and what happens at the time someone is near death.”


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