Medical or Miracle: Lamar County woman defies the odds

Medical or Miracle: Lamar County woman defies the odds

LAMAR COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - Lamar County resident Kathy Haden can tell every detail about the day she reached the brink of death, only to be left paralyzed.

"November the 15 2015. It was a Sunday afternoon," Haden said.

She said it was pretty much routine: church, lunch and a nap. Later, her daughter could not get a cable box to work in her room. Haden went to the attic to check for a disconnection.

"We built this house and I basically have been all over that attic probably a hundred times," Haden said.

But this time, when Haden stood to leave the attic, she stepped too far on the edge of a loose board.

"I fell head first through my third floor attic down into my second floor," Haden said.

As soon as she hit the floor, Haden could not move or breathe. She said she instantly knew what was wrong.

"I was paralyzed from that moment," Haden said.

The E.R. staff at Forrest General Hospital called in Neurological Surgeon, Dr. Daryl Johnson who confirmed she had a spine fracture and a spinal cord injury. She also had broken ribs on her left side, and a punctured lung. But he said the worst happened in the operating room.

"She did lose a significant amount of blood," Johnson said.

Dr. Johnson said Haden's blood pressure bottomed out and doctors then had to resuscitated her.

"She walked to the edge but we pulled her back," Johnson said.

Before being pulled back, Haden said she experienced something no one can explain. She said she could hear the doctors.

"I kind of remember seeing them working on me, but I don't know if that is just a dream or actually happened," Haden said.

Haden was on a ventilator as her family waited in suspense. They did not know if this wife and mother would ever walk again.

"Possibly moving again, not necessary walking," Johnson said.

Haden said her family never told her the bad news, and they did not have to. She said her first memory after surgery was not being able to move or speak, but she was not afraid, instead she silently sang to God.

"I was singing, 'Lord, you're mighty, Lord, you're mighty!'" Haden said.

She believed her song was a show of faith and a sign. She soon started to breathe on her own, and her family noticed her toes moving, but Johnson was cautious.

"It's hard to kind of tell sometimes whether patients are actually doing this voluntarily," Johnson said.

Only one week after surgery, her will to walk cleared any doubt. She said after only one rehab session, she asked nurses to remove her catheter, and insisted her family help her instead. Haden said with the help of her family she walked. Johnson said he was astonished.

"With her significant fracture, I didn't see that happening that quickly and she did," Johnson said.

Never accepting she would not walk again, Haden said she amazed family and doctors when she proved she was well enough to go home for Thanksgiving. When you ask Haden how this was possible, she cannot wait to give her answer.

"I am a living, breathing, walking miracle. God gave me a miracle," Haden said.

Johnson said Haden progressed dramatically, and gives his answer to: medicine or miracle?

"When you have a positive have a team that works together to do the right thing, miracles can happen," Johnson said.

A year later, Haden said she is not running any marathons, but she is walking and moving around. However, she said she cannot feel any of it from her neck down. She described it as the same numbing feeling you have at the dentist office. According to Dr. Johnson, Haden may have the numbness for the rest of her life.