After lying in bed for weeks, fighting what he thought was a worsening flu bug, 34 year-old Scott Cossey could barely move. On the day he fell to the floor and lost consciousness, his girlfriend, Christina, called 911.
Doctors at Adventist Medical Center quickly realized that Scott was close to death. He had a life-threatening infection attacking the tricuspid valve in his heart that, when damaged, triggers a series of pathological conditions; among them, fluid backs up into the lungs, setting the stage for infection and respiratory failure. With his lungs and heart dramatically impaired, Scott’s prognosis was very poor.
Scott’s mother, Cynthia, was with him in his room the night Scott began coughing up copious amounts of blood. He was rushed to the operating room where doctors saved his life. Although Scott received exceptional care from the nurses and physicians in the ICU, he remained medically fragile. After seven precarious weeks, Scott, by now gaunt and emaciated, was transferred to Vibra Specialty Hospital with a long list of active medical problems. As Adventist staff said their goodbyes, they were somberly aware of Scott’s tenuous hold on life.
Over the next days and weeks, Scott made little progress. He was in constant pain. Exhausted and drained of all his reserves, Scott could no longer summon the strength to stay in the fight. “I can’t do this anymore,” he said quietly to his mother one day. “I’m ready for hospice.” Deeply anguished after months of watching her son suffer, Cynthia tearfully accepted Scott’s decision to begin end-of-life planning.
Perhaps it was the reality of conceding to death, or the relentless optimism of Vibra’s staff, or maybe a combination of both, but “something snapped,” observed Christina, who visited daily. Scott suddenly and fiercely found himself saying, “Wait! I don’t want to die.” And with that proclamation, Scott turned a corner and never looked back.
“The Vibra staff jumped all over my renewed determination,” says Scott. “They helped me push the limits without breaking them, walking first 30 feet, then 350 feet, then outside to feel the warmth of the sun.” Scott’s caregivers became his friends, and he would later say, “Alex Kurata from Physical Therapy was amazing. While he worked with me, we were just two guys talking about cars.” The shift from patient to person was transformative, reinforcing Scott’s astonishing progress.
Scott knows Adventist Medical Center saved his life. He also knows Vibra Specialty Hospital provided the medical expertise and therapeutic services to sustain him, then to restore his health. Today, Scott is home with Cynthia, knowing that he is, in the words of many of his doctors, a miracle patient.Posted By