Who is Michael Knapinski? Where is he from?
Michael Knapinski is a hiker from Woodinville, Washington who was rescued after getting lost in a whiteout in a Washington state park “came back from the dead” at a hospital after his heart stopped for 45 minutes, in what doctors are calling an astonishing recovery.
Knapinski “died” at the Harborview Medical Center’s ER after being airlifted from Mount Rainier National Park on November 8, The Seattle Times reported.
How old is Michael Knapinski?
Michael Knapinski is 45 years old.
Michael Knapinski: What is the story?
Michael Knapinski had a pulse when he arrived at the hospital but his heart stopped shortly thereafter, Dr. Jenelle Badulak told the newspaper. He got lost in Mount Rainier national park in freezing conditions last weekend. He was found and airlifted to a hospital in Seattle, Washington state.
“He died while he was in the ER, which gave us the unique opportunity to try and save his life by basically bypassing his heart and lungs, which is the most advanced form of artificial life support”.
He remained dead for about 45 minutes as a medical team administered CPR and hooked him up to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, machine, which pumps blood to a heart-lung machine that removes carbon dioxide and sends oxygen-filled blood back, she told the paper.
What Michael Knapinski says
Knapinski had been hiking with a friend when the two separated below the Muir Snowfield and planned to meet up later in Paradise, an area about 5,400 feet on the south slope of Mount Ranier.
“I was pretty close to the end (of the trail). … Then it turned to whiteout conditions, and I couldn’t see anything,” Knapinski told The Seattle Times. “I’m not sure what happened. I think I fell.”
What Michael Knapinski family says
Knapinski said he spends a lot of time volunteering at a Salvation Army Food Bank and building houses for foster children. Trauma nurse Whitney Holen said the first thing he wanted to do was call his family.
“He was crying and they were crying and I’m fairly sure I cried a little bit. It was just really special to see someone that we had worked so hard on from start to finish to then wake up that dramatically and that impressively,” Holen told The Seattle Times.
What we know so far
When Knapinski failed to show up, his pal reported him missing and three National Park Service teams launched a rescue effort that was hampered by frigid conditions of 16 degrees.
A helicopter finally spotted Knapinski in the Nisqually River drainage, which ground teams reached about an hour later. A Navy chopper flew him to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center, where he arrived unconscious.
Two days after doctors restarted his heart, Knapinski opened his eyes. Even though his kidneys were still not functioning properly and he suffered serious frostbite, Knapinski is expected to be OK.