God has his way of guiding anyone and most may not realize that until they meet a rare life-changing experience. This is perhaps what bests describe the case of Michael Knapinski, a 45-year-old from Woodinville who got a new lease on life.
On Nov. 7, Knapinski went hiking with a friend at Mount Rainie in Washington State. At one point, the two friends went separate ways. His friend opted to continue on skis to Camp Muir while Knapinski snowshoed down toward Paradise where both planned to reconvene.
A sudden change in weather fell on that day, blizzard conditions that they had to endure. Both never met up at Paradise and Knapinski was reported missing, the Seattle Times reported.
For Knapinski, he hardly recalled what had happened at that time. The only thing he remembers is that he was close to the end of the trail and visibility was practically zero.
“I was pretty close to the end (of the trail). … Then it turned to whiteout conditions, and I couldn’t see anything,” Knapinski said. “I’m not sure what happened. I think I fell,” he added.
After he was reported missing, National Park Service teams went out to search for him only when weather conditions normalized. The search started on Nov. 8 and Knapinski was eventually found unconscious and barely had a pulse.
Knapinski was immediately brought to the hospital where he would go into cardiac arrest. But thanks to the efforts of the doctors and nurses in Harborview's surgical intensive care unit, they were able to restart the heart of the 45-year-old and monitored him round-the-clock. He would wake up two days later.
The first person who was around when Knapinski regained consciousness was trauma nurse Whitney Holen.
“He was crying and they were crying and I’m fairly sure I cried a little bit,” Holen said. “It was just really special to see someone that we had worked so hard on from start to finish to then wake up that dramatically and that impressively.”
"He came back from the dead," Dr. Saman Arbabi said. "Maybe not medically quite correct, but his heart wasn't beating for more than 45 minutes. It's amazing."
No less than Knapinski and his family were surprised he'd survived the ordeal and called it a miracle. Knapinski's relative posted the following on her Facebook account:
"This is easily the biggest miracle I have ever witnessed in my life time! God is great! God bless all of the people who have prayed, rescued, and cared."
Considering what he went through and how he is even alive is truly a miracle. It may be a second lease in life for the 45-year-old who did a lot of volunteer work at the Salvation Army Food Bank in Seattle and building houses for foster children through Overlake Christian Church in Redmond, CBN News reported.
Coming back from the dead, Knapinski said that this experience has inspired him to make a change as far as his calling in life. He will continue to help people moving forward.
"And as soon as I get physically able, that's going to be my calling in life," he said. "Just helping people. I'm still just shocked and amazed," Knapinski said.