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At 7:00 p.m on Sunday, March 13th, Pat and Sharon Corey of Toronto, Canada got their first call from Frederick. It was their 20-year-old son, Ryan, telling them that he and his Herkheimer County Community College baseball team had arrived in town safely.
Three hours later, the couple received a second call from Frederick. This time, it was Ryan’s coach, and the news was not good: Ryan had gone into full cardiac arrest, and had been rushed to Frederick Memorial Hospital. The situation was extremely serious, and the family was encouraged to get to Frederick as soon as possible.
When he arrived at the FMH ICU, Pat learned that Ryan’s medical team had begun the process of lowering his son’s core body temperature to 91.4 degrees F. Using a device called an Arctic Sun machine, the team was working to create the right conditions in Ryan’s body to slow down cellular death, and minimize brain damage.
Fortunately for Ryan, and thanks to a generous grant from the Delaplaine Foundation, Inc., the hospital had two Arctic Sun machines available that day.
After 26 hours of induced hypothermia, Ryan’s medical team began to slowly raise his body temperature. “It might be days, weeks, even months before we begin to see the results we’re looking for,” cautioned Sue Archer, Clinical Specialist on the FMH Intensive Care Unit to Ryan’s anxious father. “Keep in mind that results are not usually immediate.”
Just hours into the “warming up” phase, Ryan’s eyelids began to flutter. He recognized his father, and began to respond to simple commands. His breathing tube was removed, and he became increasingly alert and oriented. It slowly began to dawn on everyone in the room that the Arctic Sun machine, in the skilled hands of Ryan’s caregivers, had performed the
A week and a day later, after having a defibrillator implanted, Ryan was back at home in Toronto. He has little memory of his time in Frederick, but he’s back at college, preparing for finals and looking forward to rejoining the baseball team in the fall.
“Watching Ryan respond to the treatment is something the staff of the FMH ICU will never forget,” said Sue Archer. “Our chief intensivist Dr. Nam had educated us on the
hypothermia protocol, and thanks to his quick-thinking teammate who started CPR, and the Delaplaine Foundation, Ryan’s recovery was nothing short of remarkable.”
According to Marlene Young of the Delaplaine Foundation, Inc, the organization’s mission is to support programs and services that enrich the lives of individuals, families and the community. “To have been a part of something that is as dramatic and lifesaving as Ryan’s story is a profound joy…and a true privilege.”