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'I’m here for a reason' | Doctors call UH student's recovery a miracle after three cardiac arrests

Kavya Patel says she's sharing her story to give others facing tough health battles hope.

HOUSTON — Kavya Patel is studying public health at the University of Houston. It’s a path she’s on, because of her own health battle.

Patel was diagnosed with an inflammatory disease. Doctors think a reaction to medication caused her to collapse in her kitchen in December 2020. Her aunt performed CPR that kept her alive long enough to get the critical care and surgery she needed at the hospital.

“She was dead. If she didn’t have her aunt there, she’d be dead. In Sugar Land, if they didn’t recognize the fibrillation and shock her, she’d be dead. If we didn’t put her on the heart-lung machine, she’d be dead,” said Dr. Biswajit Kar, an interventional cardiologist with UTHealth Houston Heart & Vascular and Memorial Hermann.

Kar said Patel's heart stopped three times that day.

“It’s divine intervention. In medicine, we do all we can do but we’ve all seen things beyond our control and I think this is one of them,” Kar said.

READ: Where to get CPR training across Houston

Patel said she has no memory of what happened that day, but that it changed her life.

“That’s the name they gave me in the ER: miracle girl,” Patel said. “If I tempted death three times, I’m here for a reason at this point.”

She’s grateful for all the doctors and medical staff who helped her in her recovery. Part of her purpose now is helping others facing their own tough health battles.

"Just for their parents. I want myself to serve as hope for them," Patel said. "Anything is possible at this point, right?”

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