Some of the most fascinating medical miracles

This is the time of year when we believe or want to believe in miracles. Here are a few of those medical miracles that seem to clearly be an act of God.

Man saw for the first time in 33 years, thanks to ‘bionic eye’

Larry Hester, a 66-year-old tire salesman from Raleigh, North Carolina, has spent the latter half of his life blind, due to a degenerative condition called retinitis pigmentosa that destroyed his photoreceptor cells. In October of 2014, thanks to new “bionic eye” technology and Dr. Paul Hahn and his team at Duke Eye Center in Durham, North Carolina, Hester is no longer in the dark, reported Today.com.

As soon as Dr. Hahn hit the start button, Hester could see the flashing light in front of him. As his wife leaned in and kissed him, everyone else in the room looked on with pure joy for this man who could now have a semblance of vision again. The device helps Hester differentiate between lightness and darkness,creating an ability to see through the contrast.

“It was incredible,” Hester says in the video from Duke Medicine about his new sense of vision. “It was bright and it was significant, and I just had to take a deep breath…. It was hard to articulate what I was feeling, but I wanted to share it with everybody I could grab at the time and hug.”

Teen lived 118 days without heart

July 2, 2008, it was supposed to be a great day for 14-year-old D’Zhana Simmons of South Carolina, who received a transplant to replace her enlarged heart. However, her dream turned into a nightmare when the new heart failed to function properly. Doctors at a Miami Hospital had to remove the new organ, but without another heart available and with D’Zhana weakened from the surgery, they had to come up with a stopgap measure: two artificial pumps that kept the blood flowing in her body for close to four months. The feat was newsworthy partially because of D’Zhana’s age and partially because when an artificial heart is used to sustain a patient, the patient’s own heart is usually left in the body. Finally, on October 29, D’Zhana received another heart transplant, and it was so successful that she had a kidney transplant the very next day.

Surfer mauled by a shark had his hanging hand reattached

Thirty-three-year-old Glenn Orgias of Sydney Australia, was attacked in 2009 by a great white shark while surfing at Sydney’s Bondi Beach. He was taken to St Vincent’s Hospital with his hand hanging by a three centimeter piece of skin. Plastic surgeon Dr. Kevin Ho never expected that they would be able to reattach the hand. But given the patient general health and the speed of which he was rushed into the operating theatre made it a possibility that he could have his hand reattached. Dr. Ho said leeches were used as part of the effort to restore blood flow to the hand, and he is hopeful that Mr Orgias will regain function in it.

Boy recovered after orthopedic decapitation

Nine-year-old Jordan Taylor of Hillsboro, TX was in a car accident in 2009 that separated his skull from his vertebrae. There was no connection between the bones of the neck and the head. Doctors call the injury an “orthopedic decapitation” and at the time gave Jordan a one percent chance for survival.

The tissue may have been destroyed, but the faith of Jordan’s family was intact. Word about what happened to Jordan spread to the family’s church and others’ churches across the country. Jordan’s mother says at one time she knew of at least 20 churches that were praying for her son.

Dr. Roberts reconnected Jordan’s head to his neck with a metal plate, screws and titanium rods. Three months after the accident, Jordan left the hospital and is now back at school.

Window washer in coma after falling 47 Stories woke up on Christmas day

Alcides Moreno, 37, fell 47 stories from a New York skyscraper in December of 2007 when a freak accident sent his window-washing platform plunging to the concrete pavement. The accident killed his brother, who was working on the same scaffolding platform, and left Moreno is such a bad state that doctors couldn’t risk moving him to an operating room. Instead, they operated on him in the emergency room, leaving him in a vegetative state for nearly three weeks. Finally, he showed signs of consciousness and spoke — on Christmas day. Less than a month later, he was discharged with the expectation that he would walk again within a year’s time. Considering that the death rate from even a four-story fall is about 50%, Moreno’s survival, thanks in part to some fortunate circumstances, is astounding.