Medical Marvels: Cardiac patient brought back from the brink of death

ByJohn Antalek WABC logo
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Medical Marvels: Patient brought back from brink of death
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In this edition of Medical Marvels, a look at how the The staff at the Perelman Heart Center at New York Presbyterian Hospital saved Peter Reikes with an ECMO machine.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Eyewitness News is taking you inside Manhattan's New York-Presbyterian Hospital for a look at some extraordinary stories that we call Medical Marvels. It's WABC's Emmy-nominated digital series exclusive to 7online.

The staff at the Perelman Heart Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital brought Peter Reikes back from the brink of death.

Peter spent more than three weeks in a medically-induced coma after going into cardiac arrest at work.

Without warning, his heart just stopped beating.

Doctors were baffled by his condition. Peter actually flatlined several times while being treated.

Doctors tried a series of medications and other treatments but his condition continued to deteriorate.

Peter was moments from death when doctors hooked him up to an ECMO machine. It was his last chance.

ECMO did the work of Peter's heart and lungs for several weeks as his organs gradually began to function normally again.

Now Peter is back to living a very active life. Doctors say without ECMO technology, Peter's chances of survival were minimal at best. Click on the video to hear Peter's inspiring story of survival.