Breakthrough procedure saves Lincoln man’s life

 A local man says he owes his life to his family and a breakthrough procedure.

Michael Cates was getting ready for work when he told his wife, Christina, that he felt a little dizzy.  The next time he saw her was nearly four days later from this side of a hospital bed.  He says, “I was still in and out of it and finally I saw her and she said I was in the hospital and I said, 'why?'”

Michael's heart had stopped.  Christina performed CPR while their daughter went to get help.  She says, “while I'm doing chest compressions, I was screaming, 'please God, make him breath!'”

An ambulance rushed Michael to Bryan LGH where doctors did a breakthrough procedure called Hypothermia Protocol.  A machine runs saline solution through a catheter to drop the body temperature down to 93 degrees for 24 hours, creating a stable environment to help vital organs survive.

Dr. Doug Fiedler says, “it slows the body's metabolism down.  The brain is the most delicate organ in terms of being deprived of oxygen.  Once you've had death of a cell in the brain, it doesn't come back so by slowing the metabolism,m we reduce the amount of oxygen the brain needs.”

Now the Cates say every day is a reminder of how close they came to tragedy.  Michael says,”I'm blessed to be here, just blessed.  Coming in here almost dead and a week later out of the ICU, at this point I'm feeling great”