Heartbeat, pulse found after boy pronounced dead

February 23, 2012 4:36:12 AM PST
Hours after 7-year-old Jaylen Lane was pronounced dead, a doctor found a heartbeat and pulse, calling it a miracle.

Jaylen remains hospitalized. The boy's parents now are asking how this could have happened.

Jaylen's parents say, while a funeral home employee stood outside their son's hospital room ready to take his body, inside a doctor noticed the boy's heart was beating. The discovery came hours after the boy was pronounced dead at Mercy Hospital. Jaylen was transferred to Comer Children's Hospital, where he remains in critical condition.

Jaylen was 2 years old when he suffered a stroke. It left the toddler with brain damage and needing a ventilator to help him breathe. For the past five years, his mother has cared for him at home. At 8:50 on Saturday morning, mother Sheena Lane called 911 when she heard the ventilator beeping.

"When I went in the room I saw Jaylen wasn't breathing the way he usually breathes," said Sheena Lane.

The 7-year-old was rushed to Mercy Hospital. According to the hospital, Jaylen had been in full cardiac arrest for over 25 minutes by the time he arrived.

"That is when the doctor told me that Jaylen is a very sick boy, it is not looking good. She thinks it was time to say goodbye because there was nothing they could do," Lane said.

"As they were giving him chest compressions, I said, 'I love you,' and I swear it looked like he said 'I love you too,' " said father Pink Dorsey.

The hospital says that despite extensive efforts to resuscitate Jaylen, he did not regain a pulse . At 9:52 a.m., doctors pronounced Jaylen dead. An order was signed to release the boy's body to the funeral home, but Jaylen's parents were not convinced their son was dead..

"His body wasn't cold, his body never got still," said Lane. "It was just as if Jaylen was asleep at home."

"His chest never stopped moving, but the doctor told us it was the medicine," said Dorsey.

The family says the doctor told them it was not uncommon for a form of breathing to continue after death when medication is given in efforts to revive someone. But Jaylen's family wanted medical staff to continue working on him. After several hours, a doctor and nurse found a pulse, an ultrasound machine was brought in, and the doctor saw the heart pumping.

"It's still moving in an organized fashion," said a doctor, seen on a cell phone shot by Jaylen's father. "I've never seen anything like this."

Hours after Jaylen Lane was pronounced dead, doctors ordered him to be transferred to a pediatric intensive care unit at University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital. As they prepared him to leave, the medical staff was stunned, calling it a miracle.

"Miracles happen. I'm thrilled. I'm sorry you have to go through this today," said one hospital worker heard in the cell phone video.

But Jaylen's parents refuse to call it a miracle..

"This is not the second coming, this is not the resurrection, this is not a miracle, not this time," Dorsey said.

"This is someone who was breathing the whole time," said Lane.

Jaylen's family says they were the ones who pushed to have the medical staff continue to check for a pulse and heartbeat.

In a written statement, Mercy Hospital says it followed all medical protocols in an attempt to resuscitate Jaylen. It goes on to read:

"While this is a very rare occurrence, extensive resuscitation efforts, medication and young age can result in a patient's heart function returning spontaneously."