Miracle at Harlingen Medical Center
When Mrs. Alvarez woke up in the early morning to the constant barking
of her son’s service dog, she found a mother’s worst nightmare;
her only son, John Paul, was unconscious.
Mrs. Alvarez began CPR while calling 911 for help. She remembers the Harlingen
Police Department responded quickly and the support they provided. The
ER physicians at
Harlingen Medical Center in Harlingen, Texas, were “kind and helpful” she recalls.
Even though the treatment of her son was quick, the prognosis wasn’t
good. “In my years of working as a nurse, I have never seen a surgeon
show up so fast,” she says of Dr. Six, who took John Paul into surgery
that morning. After surgery Dr. Six confirmed what the ER doctors had
already said; John Paul was not doing well.
What came next were long days of prayer and hope for a miracle. Mrs. Alvarez
found she wasn’t alone; the community came to support John Paul.
Through social media, and through the people whose lives John Paul had
touched, came well wishes and prayers. Members of the community groups
John Paul belonged to gathered outside the doors of Harlingen Medical
Center to share heartfelt support.
After several days, a nurse came in to check on John Paul. His care team
wanted to try lowering his sedation to see if they could get a reaction.
After several moments and attempts, the nurse said, “John Paul, if
you hear me move your fingers.” John Paul slowly lifted two fingers.
“Am I imaging things? It’s just a reflex,” were the
thoughts running through Mrs. Alvarez’s mind.
There was no imaging this; after being in bed for several days with no
movement or response, John Paul had reacted to the nurse’s request.
Dr. Six was called to evaluate, and immediately he took John Paul back
to surgery. As the anesthesia wore off after surgery, Mrs. Alvarez and
John Paul’s wife searched for any signs of the John Paul they know and love.
“Do you love me?” they asked, and to their surprise John Paul
nodded his head.
“Do you love me,” his sister asked. John Paul shook his head
no, showing that the lighthearted, funny, playful John Paul had returned.
From the darkest moments to John Paul sitting in bed, recounting his experience
and laughing with family, “This was a true miracle. This is all
thanks to the great care my son received here [at Harlingen Medical Center],”
Mrs. Alvarez shared. “From the very beginning in ER to the ICU Director,
who is an angel in disguise with a heart of gold, everyone has been amazing.”
We are beyond honored to have been a part of John Paul’s miracle
journey, and we wish him and his family the very best.