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For week ended December 05, 1999 Posted 24 Feb 2001

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LDS Teen featured in Life Magazine (Survivors)

Summarized by Kent Larsen

LDS Teen featured in Life Magazine (Survivors)
without permission. For list info see
LDS Teen featured in Life Magazine (Survivors)

In an article examining how five women survived brushes with death, 16-year-old LDS Church member Michelle Funk tells the story of her death as a toddler and how doctors at Primary Children's Medical Center revived her. Michelle was underwater in Dry Creek in Salt Lake City for 66 minutes, and clinically dead for nearly three hours when doctors managed to revive her.

She and her brother had been playing near Dry Creek near their home when she fell in while her mother was temporarily in the house. First neighbors and then Paramedics and a rescue team tried to find her, discovering Michelle's body only after the water in the creek was diverted. When pulled from the stream her heart wasn't beating, and her core temperature was below 70 degrees farenheit.

At Primary Childrens Medical Center, doctors used a machine to quickly warm and reoxygenate her blood. When her body temperature reached 91 degrees her eyes opened and her heartbeat became regular. But even though she had been revived, doctors still worried about possible brain damage. After the prayers of her family, a visit from the bishop, her name on the prayer rolls in the Temple, and five days in a coma, Michelle woke up, and eight weeks later left the hospital.

While she did have some brain damage, apparently affecting her memory, but otherwise she seems a normal teenager. And in spite of the experience, she still likes the water. "It's amazing that I'm not afraid of the water. I still can't go in the creek by my house, but I love to swim. I'd live in the water if I could."

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 Kent Larsen · Privacy Information