'Sammy Is Our Miracle': Teen Dies Rock Climbing And Revives 2 Hours Later

April 19, 2023

A family in Missouri City, Texas, believes in miracles, now.

Their teenage son went into sudden cardiac arrest on January 7th and was later pronounced dead.

Two hours later he was alive.

teen comes back to life after dead
Credit: Jennifer Joseph Berko / CaringBridge.org

Sammy Berko, 16, was at a rock climbing gym when his heart suddenly stopped.

"He climbed to the top of the wall, rang the bell, as we were told, and then his body went limp, and it looked like he was either playing around or passed out. They weren't quite sure and when they realized he was unresponsive, they lowered him slowly," Sammy's mother, Jennifer, told Fox 26 Houston.

Workers at the gym, then paramedics, then doctors all performed CPR for two hours.

"They looked at us and said, 'I'm so sorry, but he's gone'," Jennifer said.

Doctors left his parents to say their goodbyes.

"I started talking to him, just telling him how much I love him and sorry that we didn't know how to save him. Suddenly, as I started praying, my husband said, 'oh my gosh, he's moving'," Jennifer recalled.


The medical team came racing back in when the couple started yelling that he was alive.

"These are professionals who have been doing this their entire lives, who have seen the worst of the worst. Each and every one of them afterward came to us and said that they have never seen anything like this before. Ever. Never had they ever pronounced somebody and suddenly they came back five minutes later. That feeling of seeing his heartbeat, there are no words for that. There are no words. We just stood there. I mean, grateful is the biggest understatement ever to know that he might make it," Jennifer told the station.

Due to how long Sammy went without oxygen there was fear he suffered a major brain injury. However, aside from some physical injury, he has so far only experienced short term memory loss.

Now Sammy is working hard to recover the strength in his legs. The last two months, he has been undergoing inpatient rehabilitation at TIRR Memorial Hermann.

"Sammy is our miracle," Jennifer said.

You can also support the Berko family by visiting their Caring Bridge page.

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