Taylor man revived after being dead for 20 minutes due to electrical shock, officials say

Michael Pruitt revived at Beaumont Hospital in Farmington Hills

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. - A Taylor man who was revived after being dead for 20 minutes due to an electrical shock was "like The Hulk" when he became conscious again at Beaumont Hospital in Farmington Hills, hospital workers said.

Michael Pruitt, 20, was carrying a metal ladder while helping his stepfather at a Livonia job site, officials said. The ladder touched a live electrical wire, shocking Pruitt, officials said.

"I remember being electrocuted while holding that ladder and shaking, and then nothing," Pruitt said.

The homeowner at the job site called 911 and performed CPR, according to authorities. Firefighters arrived four minutes later and took Puritt to the Level 2 Emergency and Trauma Center at Beaumont Hospital in Farmington Hills.

"They brought in this perfect young man who had no vital signs," Dr. Angel Chudler said. "I said to my team, 'We're bringing him back.' And then, I said to him, 'You better come back.'"

Michael Pruitt with Dr. Angel Chudler (Beaumont)

Pruitt's heart was shocked with a defibrillator, but nothing happened. Chudler used a more intense shock the second time, and Pruitt's heart started beating within two minutes, according to hospital workers.

"When he became conscious again, he was like The Hulk, grabbing the railings and shaking the bed with huge strength," clinical nurse Yasmeen Bachir, RN, said. "It took the entire care team to hold Michael. I guess every superhero has to die at least once."

"In less than five minutes, brain cells start to die from lack of oxygen," said Barbara Smith, RN, director of Trauma Services at the hospital. "Michael’s resuscitation is miraculous. He did not lose any brain function. It’s a testament to the importance of immediate and continuous CPR to move oxygenated blood to the brain."

"I knew he’d be OK when Michael made a sarcastic gesture when I asked if he had any other superpowers," said Pruitt's mother, Jillian, a rehabilitation tech at Beaumont Hospital in Taylor. "My first-born had returned from the dead."

Michael Pruitt with Dr. Angel Chudler, clinical nurse Yasmeen Bachir and his mother. (Beaumont)

Officials said the high-voltage electricity exited Pruitt's body through his big toes, which were burned from the inside. His toes were bandaged and are healing, officials said.

"When my folks ask me to take out the garbage now, I’ve been trying to use my painful big toes as an excuse not to do it," Pruitt said.

Michael Pruitt with Dr. Angel Chudler (Beaumont)

He said he got a new tattoo in honor of his recovery. The tattoo is an image of the sacred all-seeing eye of God inside a triangle, surrounded by a Native American dream catcher. Pruitt got the tattoo over his heart.

"When people ask if my hair spikes naturally, now I tell them it’s because I was electrocuted," Pruitt said.

Officials said recovery from electric shock depends on the nature and severity of the injuries. The percentage of the body surface area burned is the most important factor affecting prognosis.

Michael Pruitt with Dr. Angel Chudler, clinical nurse Yasmeen Bachir and his mother. (Beaumont)

Here are some possible symptoms of electric shock:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Breathing problems
  • Headache
  • Problems with vision or hearing
  • Burns
  • Seizures
  • Irregular heartbeat

Electrical damage to the brain could result in a permanent seizure disorder, depression, anxiety or other personality changes, officials said. An electrical current can also cause internal damage, cardiac arrest or other injuries, according to experts.

Michael Pruitt with Dr. Angel Chudler (Beaumont)

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