AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - 5-year-old Owen Coulter rolled into his celebratory sendoff party with a big smile. After 56 days at Dell Children's Medical Center he was finally cleared to go home.
Coulter's father, Darin, is an Austin firefighter and in the middle of December found himself on the other side of an emergency.
Owen was rushed to the hospital with flu like symptoms when he went into cardiac arrest. Medical staff performed CPR for more than an hour. When all hope seemed lost, Owen's mother, Kristin, prayed.
"I cried out for him, I told him to stay with us, told him I loved him and I asked God to save him," Kristin Coulter said.
Not long after, doctors put Owen on an ECMO machine, something not normally used on children, to help support his heart and lungs. His heart then began to beat all on its own.
"He's our miracle baby, he was the hospital’s Christmas miracle," Kristin Coulter said.
Owen's road to recovery was a long one. Dell Children's Emergency Medicine Physician Patrick Ryan explained.
"He was out for so long and in rest for so long that it took time for his major organs to recover. He also had to go through some physical therapy," Ryan said. "He had some weakness, I know he is continuing to work through and strengthen."
Step by step, Owen managed to regain some of his strength. At his going away party Thursday he was able to celebrate his triumph surrounded by family, friends and fellow cape-less heroes.
Owen's battle back to health is far from over, he's gearing up for rehabilitation. His family has set up a rehabilitation fund to help offset medical costs.