Myles Amsden was in a critical health crisis three years ago. Submitted photo
Myles Amsden today at age 3

The Maricopa family of a 3-year-old girl who nearly died as an infant from a sudden cardiac arrest recently reunited with the surgeon and medical team who saved her life at Cardon Children’s Medical Center.

The family expressed their heartfelt thanks during the emotional reunion Thursday at the hospital, located at 1400 S. Dobson Road. Seeing Myles Amsden giggling and playing was especially meaningful to the medical team who treated her, since they once helped connect her heart to a machine to keep it beating while her body healed.

Maricopan Ralph Amsden, the girl’s father, wrote a popular and deeply moving Twitter thread detailing his daughter’s illness and amazing recovery.

“The doctor had this look of determination that I’ll never forget,” he wrote. “The moment we gave her the go-ahead (for surgery), it was like she was taking the ball, bases loaded with a one-run lead in game seven of the World Series. ‘All right. Let’s go. Let’s do this.’ And she did it. She replaced a two-week-old baby’s heartbeat with a machine by connecting a tube into her carotid artery. There were a dozen improbable things that saved my daughter that night, but this one I was able to put a name to.”

When Myles was only 2 weeks old, she suddenly stopped breathing and was rushed to the Emergency Department at Cardon Children’s, where doctors determined she wouldn’t survive unless she was emergently placed on cardiac bypass to give her body time to recover. Dr. Heidi Cox, a pediatric surgeon, connected the infant’s heart to an “ECMO” machine, which pumped and oxygenated the baby’s heart outside of her body to allow her heart and lungs to rest.

Amsden said Myles was without oxygen for several minutes before being transported to Cardon and could have suffered brain damage, but she’s now in great health and neurologically fine. She spent about three weeks in Cardon Children’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, then later required a year of physical therapy.

“We call her a miracle, and she smiles,” Amsden said. “She doesn’t comprehend too much of what she went through, but her family and friends sure do.”

Three years ago, Ralph Amsden with daughter Myles


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