Months after being declared “clinically deceased,” a North Carolina pastor is back at home and recovering from a medical mystery that can only be described as a miracle.
Ryan Marlow was admitted to Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist in August 2022 with symptoms of vertigo. He was eventually diagnosed with listeria, and his wife Megan believed his illness would be treated with a round of antibiotics. But then he suffered a brain hemorrhage and died.
Since he was an organ donor he was kept on life-support for several days. During that time a miracle occurred and Ryan began to show signs of life.
Now the father of three is at home recovering.
“He’s fighting. I’m fighting. We’re all fighting, and he’s coming out of it. He’s getting stronger, and if he walks away with different limitations here and there, then that’s OK, that’s OK. We have Ryan,” Megan said.
The nightmare began when Megan and Ryan were on a 16th wedding anniversary trip through western North Carolina. Ryan began seeing double, and his symptoms quickly worsened.
He was admitted to the hospital where the course of treatment was antibiotics, however his condition suddenly took a turn for the worse.
“We thought that we had a cure, it’s listeria. We’ll treat [him] with antibiotics and have a long recovery, but he’ll be good. But he ended up having a brain hemorrhage,” Megan said.
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On August 27, doctors informed Megan her husband died. Although there was nothing left to do Ryan, an organ donor, was left on life-support.
Days later surgeons prepared him for surgery. It was Megan’s last chance to be with her husband.
“I just kind of cleared everybody out of the room and I told him, and I said, ‘If you’re in there, you’ve got to fight because I’m getting ready to stop everything and I’m going to find out here, so you have to fight in there and he did.”
The surgery was called off and Megan had doctors perform additional tests on her husband.
A CT scan showed blood flowing to his brain. He was alive!
“To walk through this every day, to go from where I thought I was a widow and had to tell my children that he was gone…and then to go from his ride in that window. It’s hard to be home and it is not like it was before, but I have so much hope and faith and he does too.”
Ryan spent the next several weeks undergoing tests, surgery, and treatment. In December he was transferred to a rehab facility where he continued on the road to recovery.
The days were long, and the rehabilitation was hard, but on February 23 Ryan returned home.
“4,584 hours Since we have been home together as a family of five. The last official trip Ryan had scheduled to come back to Wilkes, his destination was the funeral home,” Megan wrote on Facebook the day her husband returned home. “Oh what a day filled with all kinds of emotions! Such relief for those walking this journey closely with me. Yet nervousness for the road ahead.”
“Don’t quit praying now!! We have work to do!!“
A drive-by parade outside the family’s house is scheduled March 4 to officially welcome Ryan home.
There’s no other way to describe it, Ryan’s recovery is most definitely a miracle!
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