In what is being called a ‘miracle,’ a family in Wayne Township, Lawrence County is praising God for saving their teenage son who had no heartbeat for 30 minutes.
Marcia and John Cater are people of faith who depend on their faith for everything in their life. Now they have medical evidence to prove that there is a God who is in the business of healing His people even today.
It was on Oct. 22, 2018, when John, who has since retired but is working as a plant manager at Reznor in Mercer was running a bit late. Their son, Christian, a freshman and two-sport athlete at the time at Portersville Christian School, was having a bath when his parents heard a loud sound.
They initially thought he had dropped something heavy but instead, found him on the floor without a heartbeat. John started giving him CPR as they waited for paramedics to arrive. Christian was taken to Ellwood City Hospital but later flown to UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.
He spent a month in the hospital with many days in a medically induced coma. Marcia a former journalist said, “Not knowing any better, and with no medical background, we just prayed,” she said. Her new book about this experience, “Heartbeat From Heaven,” will be out on Sept. 1 and will be available to buy on Amazon as well.
The family was told that Christian had had a sudden cardiac arrest. John said, “He never even got colds or ear infections,” recalled John, telling us that there is a difference between it and a heart attack. While heart attacks are as a result of blockages disrupting the blood supply to the heart, a sudden cardiac arrest occurs due to an “electrical problem,” where the heart malfunctions and stops beating suddenly.
John recalled, “After 10 minutes in cardiac arrest, the chances of survival are low and the risk of brain damage is high,” he said, adding that his son was without a heartbeat for around 30 minutes.
Marcia said, “Everything we’ve read, everything we’ve been told is that most often after 10 minutes, you’re dead. But he came home, and he’s fine. We’re sitting with a miracle,” Marcia said. She said that one of Christian’s nurses called it one of the “top three miracles” she’s seen in all her years of nursing.
John added, “It’s not rare, but survival is,” said John, hoping his son’s incident will help raise awareness about placing defibrillators to restore a normal heartbeat, in public areas. “Sudden cardiac arrest is no respecter of age, race or athleticism.”
There was no reason found for the sudden cardiac arrest in the case of Christian, “He went through every medical test and they found nothing,” Marcia said. “I tell him the devil tried to take him out and God said no.”
Christian was implanted with an internally implanted defibrillator, that will be helpful for the future. When asked about his health scare, he says he doesn’t remember much of it. “By the time I woke up, I was kinda over it,” joked Christian. He spent a week in a rehabilitation center and has since returned back to routine life.
He has also started playing basketball and in 2019, he was able to go on a school-sponsored mission trip to the Dominican Republic. He graduated with high honors recently. Christian is living his best life hunting, fishing, kayaking, and disc golfing, thanks to his parent’s prayers, and now is getting ready to study management at Geneva College in Beaver Falls.
His parents are thanking God and their PCS friends and church family at Concord United Methodist Church in North Sewickley Township, Beaver County, for supporting them with prayers throughout their son’s hospitalization.