Ooltewah woman brought back to life after dying

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee(WDEF) – An Ooltewah woman walks out of a Chattanooga hospital nearly two months after she died and was brought back to life.

Christine Morkert, 42, of Ooltewah is a very fortunate woman.

The story of her survival began on the day after Thanksgiving.

Kristine was experiencing symptoms of the flu so her husband Andrew took her to an urgent care clinic.

"They ran strep and flu test. Both came back negative. So we took her to Memorial emergency room the next day," Andrew said.

While at Memorial, doctors ran test and figured Christine was suffering from a bad case of the flu. They reportedly prescribed her medication and told her the illness would run its course over the next several days. 

But during the following week, Christine’s condition got worse. She went back to the hospital where doctors performed tests that turned up positive for strep and pneumonia. But while in the emergency room, Christine reportedly stopped breathing.

"That was kind of the last thing I remember that I couldn’t breathe and that was it," Christine said.

While losing her ability to breathe, Christine reportedly turned blue then flat-lined in the emergency room.

She hadn’t died for that long. It was maybe seven minutes if that but they brought her back and intubated her," Andrew said.

While intubated, Christine was far from a full recovery.  Her husband was left wondering how her illness progressed so quickly to the point where she actually died and was brought back to life.

 "I did not see it coming. What started out as the flu caught me very much off guard," Andrew said.

"I’m normally never sick. I’ve not been sick; I don’t smoke or drink. I’m very healthy," Christine said.

After Christine was brought back to life, she was reportedly left unconscious for 25 days. Doctors did more test and realized she was suffering from Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome also known as A.R.D.S.  It’s a life threatening inflammation in the lungs that decreases the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.  The lungs fill with fluid which stops oxygen flow to the other organs.  Most people who develop A.R.D.S. don’t survive.

"I was beside myself.  I was like oh my goodness, my wife; there’s a potential she might not make it," Andrew said.

While Christine was unconscious and hooked up to various machines, tragedy struck again.  Her brother suffered a massive heart attack and was place in intensive care down the hall from Christine. 

"Bobby my son was in SICU and Christine was in MICU. So there’s a big long hall between and you only have 40 minutes to visit them during the three times of the day they allow you to visit. We would go from one room to the other and visit them but we always knew god would bring them through and he has done that," said their mother Millie Benefield.

Bobby eventually recovered from his heart attack and Christine regained consciousness on December 26. While in the hospital she became known as the miracle patient.  Her story of survival quickly began to spread across the country.

"I am hearing from churches all across the country that has heard about me through the internet. They are praying for me.  I know when I couldn’t pray for myself, they are the ones that prayed for me. So yes, I believe I am a miracle. God knew I had things to do," Christine said.

Now that Christine is out of the hospital, she has long road ahead in terms of recovery.  Once she is back to her normal self, Christine and her husband have plans to travel to another country to help others in need through prayer and hard work.

Categories: Health, Local News

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