ECMO machine saves CTX man's life after flatlining five times - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

ECMO machine saves CTX man's life after flatlining five times

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
TEMPLE, TX (KXXV) -

Thanks to a life-saving machine at the Scott & White Hospital in Temple, a Central Texas man is alive today despite suffering a massive heart attack and having his heart stop five times.

Bill Trotter flatlined at Scott & White after a massive heart attack. Thanks to the machine, ECMO, he is alive to share his miraculous story.

Bill Trotter died five times last August.

"I had a blood clot go through my, those stints, clogged up in those stints. At that time, that's the last thing I remember," Trotter said. 

Trotter had a heart attack and was recovering from stint surgery when he flat-lined multiple times... knocking on death's door until he was placed on ECMO. 

"We get the blood out of the patient and we pass it through the circuit and there is an oxygenator here that is almost like a dialysis filter," Dr. Jorge Velazco, Director of the ECMO program at Scott & White, said. 

The machine removes the CO2 from the patient's blood and replaces it with oxygen, essentially working for the heart and/or lungs to allow the patient, like Mr. Trotter, to heal.

"It's overwhelming, sometimes I just can't think about it. You don't think things like this will happen to you," Trotter added.

Trotter's doctors say thanks to ECMO he recovered in under a week.

"It's something I wouldn't want to do again, but I thank God I'm still here. It's been a struggle, it's been a fight, but, that's what life's about," Trotter said. 

Now, a little over a year later, Mr. Trotter walks with a cane, but nonetheless is still walking.

"I truly believe that if it was not for the ECMO support Mr. Trotter most likely would have died," Dr. Velazco added. 

"I thank God for ECMO," Trotter added.

Only 25 percent of ECMO patients, who would otherwise have died, survive like Mr. Trotter. 

Scott & White treats an average 30 patients per year with the ECMO machine. 

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