by Hunter Dawkins

Undoubtedly, 2020 has been a year of tough conditions and seeing the humility of people.  Long time Pass Christian native; 73-year old Mike Morgan, has overcome quite a few obstacles during his lifetime, including the deadly COVID-19 (coronavirus) this year.

“I am enormously grateful,” said ‘Miracle Mike” Morgan after 13 weeks of hospital visits. “My advice to anyone now would be to take this virus seriously, as the after effects could be extremely serious even to those who survive.”

Morgan is retired after doing engineer work for 40 years. Having grown up in Pass Christian in the 60’s, Morgan had a lot of fine memories of the Pass and the quality of life here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.  Due to the passing of Morgan’s spouse, he decided to move back to his hometown in 2013.  Both his children and their families still live in the Dallas area.

For a total of 90 days (thirteen weeks), Morgan spent in a hospital bed, as well as spending 8 weeks in two different hospitals, 4 weeks in a long term care facility, and 2 weeks in a rehab facility.

‘Miracle Mike’ is back home now after ongoing a 90 day struggle, testing positive for the virus for 60 days and 30 days were spent on the ventilator in a medically induced coma. While on a ventilator, I suffered two strokes, a cardiac arrest, and flatlined for 27 minutes.

“I have an infinite amount of gratitude for the doctors and nurses who pounded my chest and used CPR to revive me,” said Morgan.  This occurred while Morgan was a “Coded” patient for those 27 minutes.

In his own words, Morgan accounts portions of his 90 days stories, saying:
“Day 1 of the disease started on March 27. I called my fiancé Carolyn at noon to tell her I was feeling pretty good from the meds I took, for what I thought was a mild sinus infection. At 5 pm, I called her and asked her not to turn off her phone at any time, as I was feeling very sick. At 7pm, I called her and said I have to go to the hospital immediately. I felt I was in extreme danger and began wondering if this was my final time.”

“Carolyn called 911 for the ambulance and had me transported to Hancock Medical in Bay St Louis. I had previously selected Hancock Medical as my preferred hospital because of its Ochsner affiliation, and that my family doctor, Doctor Rowe Crowder in the Bay, was also an Ochsner affiliate. Upon arriving at the hospital, I was tested for the virus and was positive. I was immediately placed on a ventilator that night.”

“For the next 4 weeks I was in Hancock Medical. In week 3, I needed a blood transfusion, due to the amount of blood extracted for blood testing, and my being in a coma the whole time. Shortly after the transfusion, the doctors reported to my children that my heartbeat had dropped to fatally low levels. It appeared to the doctors that I had undergone a cardiac arrest. One of the critical periods for me was the attention and quality care I received at Ochsner’s Hancock Medical facility.”

“When I returned home in late June, my kids reported to me that all of us are deeply indebted to the nurses and doctors, specifically Dr “K” and Dr Anthony at Hancock Medical, who worked very hard in my diagnosis and treatment. These two doctors also went out of their way to communicate my condition and progress in group phone calls to both my children every 1-2 days.”

“On Day 27, April 22nd, I was taken off the ventilator. Plans were being made to transport me to the Ochsner hospital in Slidell, where COVID 19 patients from all other area Ochsner hospitals were being relocated. On Friday, April 24 th , I was transported to Northshore Hospital , an Ochsner hospital. I was tested again for the virus and found to still be positive. On Wednesday, April 28th, I flatlined. My daughter received a phone from the doctor at Northshore to say that her father had flatlined
and whether the hospital should resuscitate or not. My daughter said yes, and for 27 minutes the doctors and nurses worked to revive me. I am so grateful that they succeeded.

“On Day 41, May 6th , I still tested positive for the virus. Two days later, I had a skype phone call with Carolyn and my family, although I was still very groggy. On Mother’s Day, May 10, I had two strokes, brain bleeding from the back of my head. But on day 45, May 12th , I had the first Corona test that was negative. The second negative came several days later, and with two negatives, the Hospital transported me to the Post Acute Medical (PAM) Specialty Hospital, a long term care facility in Covington. It had
been 53 days of carrying the virus, and now it was time to recover. The time at PAM was nearly 4 weeks, where my initial rehab had begun. My body was very weak from the 90 days in a hospital bed, at 22 hours per day.”

“On June 12th , after 11 weeks of hospitals, I was finally transferred to a full rehabilitation facility, Encompass in Gulfport. My kids had done some research on several rehab facilities, and were impressed with the information presented online by Encompass. I first met with the Case Manager and lead doctor and set June 24th as the target discharge date. Therapy at my home would be arranged after this target date. The Encompass facility in Gulfport is a first class facility, confirming the opinion of my children. I was initially impressed with the openness and caring of the patients by the nurses and therapists. It appeared that the chemistry that the therapists had between each other was outstanding, and it made me feel very comfortable in attending the therapy sessions each day. I would welcome the chance to recommend Encompass, and to share my experience to others seeking rehab work.”

Morgan’s home care service has been comfortable to him and he is being treated by three separate therapists each week.  The ordeal was quite the family experience, as the kids both wrote detailed results of every conversation with the doctors and Carolyn would post Morgan’s progress on social media.  The concern from the family and friends show the true testament of love and friendship.

Until the bout of this deadly virus, Morgan never had any stroke or heart trouble.  The effects from this deadly virus remain to be seen if they are temporary or permanent.  However, the healing of ‘Miracle Mike’ Morgan could be the result of the “Power of Prayer.”