Skip to comments.Lake Elmo woman makes miracle recovery from "brain dead" (MN)
Posted on 02/13/2008 11:28:16 AM PST by ButThreeLeftsDo
How many people get a second chance at life? Rae Kupferschmidt has. In mid-January, the 65-year-old former medical secretary suffered a devasting cerebral hemorrhage, a massive bleeding on the brain.
"They thought I was dead," she says.
In fact, on January 17th, doctors declared her "brain dead." One word, "dead," is handwritten on that date on the calendar in Rae's room at United Hospital in Saint Paul. In that same hospital room where Rae fielded questions from reporters on Tuesday.
Clearly, Rae did not die, but even now, her family is not second-guessing the decision to disconnect life support. Medically, Rae was gone. Daughter Lisa Sturm is an operating room nurse at Regions Hospital in Saint Paul.
"So, I've seen many, many CT's and I never, ever saw one that looked like my mother's. Ever. It was black, meaning there was just so much blood in the head that you couldn't even see any anatomy of the brain," says Sturm.
In grief, Alan Kupferschmidt took his wife of 45 years back to Lake Elmo so she could take her last breath in her own bed. The house was soon full of friends and family who came to say goodbye. Rae says she is glad she was unconscious while everyone was mourning what they thought was her inevitable death.
"If I had seen all the tears and the gnashing of teeth and all that stuff, I'd have felt bad," she says.
As it was, the family began planning Rae's funeral, believing the end was just hours away. Then, Lisa tried to wet her mother's lips.
"When I touched her mouth with the ice cube and then a second time and then I asked if she was in there and she shook her head, yes and mouthed the word, yes," Sturm says.
At first, Lisa did not believe her mother was waking from her coma. She knew that terminal patients can seem to waken for a moment before death, but Rae began talking. Alan's roller-coaster of emotions suddenly sped upwards on a hill.
"For her to start talking to us and everything working, she wasn't paralyzed. She just kept climbing the ladder," he says.
It was a ladder back to awareness after being given up for dead. Rae sat up in her room. A prayer shawl covered her legs. She knitted many such shawls for others in distress but never thought she would need one herself. Rae says she does not remember anything that occurred during the coma.
"I remember my daughter, Lisa, asking me questions about angels," says Rae.
Lisa wondered what her mother was seeing in the room at home. Rae says she did see angels, but no one she recognized. "I said these angels are not here to take me home to my father. They're here to help me, to help me get over this," says Rae.
Doctors at United Hospital, including Physical Medicine physician Brad Helms are amazed by Rae's recovery.
"This is extremely unusual. It's virtually never heard of. You have some people who get better after a bleed, but in Rae's case, she was essentially brain dead and when she was in the intensive care unit, just was not responding to any sort of stimuli or any sort of activity. I've been here since 1999 and this is the first case like this I've seen," says Dr. Helms.
Rae has been undergoing physical therapy twice a day for three weeks. Dr. Helms expects her to be able to walk unaided in a few months. He says she has the possibility of a full recovery.
Rae and Alan have a zest for life that has carried them across the globe. They are continuing plans for a "roadtrip" to Washington, D.C. and Williamsburg, Virginia in May. Then, they plan to tour Greece in October. Rae Kupferschmidt intends to make good use of her second chance at life.
Others may call her survival a "miracle." She does not.
"I'm not a miracle lady. I am just a very blessed lady that God chose not to be done with," says Rae.
Video at link.
Good thing she isn’t married to Michael Schiavo!
He does, every time. Just not always the way one might be wishing He would.
And not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from His will.
An uplifting story.
She immediately switched her party affiliation from Democrat to Republican.
Try the veal.
Very much so... I agree. This was a nice read.
What? Not a story like this right now! Uh, don't think about me because of this! Oh no! I may be on McCain's ticket so PLEASE forget about me and what a wimp I am. OK? Pretty please! ---Jebbie The Hut.
“She knew that terminal patients can seem to waken for a moment before death”
My Mom passed away a little over a year ago, at my sister’s house. Mom was mentally gone for six months prior to her passing. Didn’t seem to know anything or anyone. Sis told me that a few days before Mom went, she was sitting up talking to everyone as if she was fine.
BTW...She went home today...
Yep, He does.
Almost an identical story happened to my Mom about six years ago. She had a massive cranial bleed from a split in one of her arteries at 9 p.m, filling 3 of the 4 - are they called ventricles? - of the brain. The Dr asked us if we wanted to let her go, and we said just wait and see.
I called my girlfriends for their prayers, and then settled down for “first shift” as she was placed on monitors and all her vital signs deteriorated throughout the nite and she had stopped communicating shortly after she was admitted. No other intervention was done.
I left at 4 a.m. and my brother Bob took over. She woke up about an hour later and asked him if he had changed his shirt. She was discharged a few days later, made pretty much a full recovery and is still alive.
Some of the doctors and nurses specifically said it was a miracle. God is awesome, isn’t He.
Now she can’t vote for Hillary!
She’s blessed, that’s for sure. But she was lying out getting prepared to be buried. What is different with what her husband was doing and Mr. Schiavo?
On the way to Stillwater.
I guess I was thinkin’ of a different Elmo.
He might have insisted that she really hadn't recovered, and they must go ahead and bury her so he could get on with his life?
Same kind of thing happened to my dad. He had an “event” whether diabetic or stroke we never knew. He was in a vegetative coma and I was told he would never wake up and “did I *really* want to feed him?”
I insisted that they feed him, and ten days later when I went in and said “hi dad” he answered me.
The last 2 years of his life were the best we shared.
“The last 2 years of his life were the best we shared.”
1. there is *no* EEG activity; and
2. there is no CBF (cerebral blood flow); and
3. there is no effect on the heart rate of a 1mm injection of atropine
then the patient is generally determined to be “brain dead.” If she had *all* of these indicators and then woke up, I agree that it is truly a miracle.
Will she vote REPUBLICAN now ??
Time to redo that living will.
Terri Schiavo was put on the feeding tube in the first place by her HINO, Michael, for “convenience” sake. Somehow, with the help of some merchants of death, he has managed to get food and water defined as extraordinary medical care.
Time to buy a lottery ticket!
If you read the article, the woman received ice chips on the lips. Michael Schiavo made sure that Terri had no such luxury when he dehydrated her to death. It was all done properly, with court orders.
Misconception that your 'will' will be done -
You need to do the "Will To Live" - and make sure there's a copy on hand in your records, that your doctor knows it, and each close family member has a copy.
Freepmail wagglebee to subscribe or unsubscribe from the moral absolutes ping list.
“Good thing she isnt married to Michael Schiavo!”
Amen to ^that!!! That man is a monster.
AMEN! God DOES answer prayers!! What a testimony and what a miracle! HALLELUJAH!
The story was also on the front page of today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press.