Michele De Leeuw

Doctors told Karl De Leeuw that his wife had suffered so much brain damage that she wasn’t the same person anymore. That’s when he decided to remove her life support.

As Fox News reports, 57-year-old Michele De Leeuw suffered a heart attack in August. Karl found his wife and called 911. The operator coached him through CPR until paramedics arrived. Still, Karl was persuaded that his wife had died. Their daughter, Myles, told NBC News:

“When my father called me after she was rushed to the hospital, was that he felt that she was dead. It was the most earth-shattering phone call of my young life. It was horrible to see my mother on more IVs and tubes than you can ever imagine.”

Rescue workers had to revive Michele multiple times on the way to the hospital. During the heart attack, Michele was without oxygen for about 15 minutes. Doctors held out little hope for her survival and told the family her brain function was only 5 percent and heart function was 25 percent.

Michele was unconscious for three weeks before Karl made an agonizing decision. Advised by doctors who told him that “the woman that you know as your wife is not there anymore,” Karl decided to discontinue his wife’s life support. He told NBC News:

“I took her off the ventilator. I unplugged her.”

Karl called it the “hardest decision of my life.” And Myles added:

“When we pulled the plug, it was just so sad to start living with the reality that my mom is dead.”

Only Michele didn’t die.

Moments after being removed from life support, Michele started breathing on her own.

But the wife and mom was still unconscious, and doctors believed there was no hope of survival. Michele was given “comfort care” as staff waited for her to pass away.

But Michele was about to surprise the doctors again. Two days after the ventilator was removed, her eyes opened. Two days after that, she spoke. Karl told NBC News:

“She told the nurse she’s hungry. I said, ‘Well, feed her.’ Two days later she was sitting up in bed feeding herself.”

Though she was now conscious, Michele was far from her old self. She was incoherent, confused about where she was, and had blockages in her veins.

Michele underwent open heart surgery, then spent weeks undergoing speech and physical therapy. Now, nearly four months after her heart attack, Michele is back at home and on the way to a full recovery.

Last week, Michele was presented with a “Survival Coin” from the first responders who treated her during her heart attack. Michele told WDIV that she’s still trying to process everything that happened in the last four months:

“I just thank God I was saved. I know it means something good is going to come of this.”

Her family agrees that there’s something special about Michele. As Karl told WDIV:

“I truly believe she is a depiction of a miracle.”

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11 Replies to “Husband Makes Agonizing Decision to Remove Wife’s Life Support. Days Later, She Wakes Up and Asks for Food”

  • Anonymous 2 years ago


  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    God is good all the time

    • Jackie 2 years ago

      Good all the time? Even the time he/she made that poor family think their loved one was going to die? Kinda seems like a sick game…Give the woman heart attack…Let family suffer and grieve for a while to the point where they are forced to make the hardest decision of their lives…Psych! Bring the woman back! Sounds like the kind of torture the Devil gets off on!

      • rosa l johnson 2 years ago

        prayer is real. sending healing energy can help a person heal. A lot of people who have these experiences recall being asked if they want to stay with God or come back to living in the body. They make that choice to come back.

      • Anonymous 2 years ago

        you dumb — God didn’t cause the heart attack !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous 2 years ago


  • Amika 2 years ago

    I am so thankful to know Jesus as my Lord And Savior! If you don’t know Him you need to ask Him to show Himself to you. He loves us so much and He is GOOD!!!

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    God bless you amén

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    I suffered a heart attack in January, 2002, when I was 45. I was fortunate in that my doctor thought I had pneumonia and sent me to the ER. It was there that I had the heart attack that left me dead for 20 minutes. I woke up in CCU. I made a quick recovery, and was back to work in about 3 weeks. I was left with congestive heart failure and aphasia, which causes me to forget certain words when speaking (due to lack of oxygen). If you want to say God saved me, that’s up to you. Never underestimate the determination of someone who refuses to take no for an answer.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago


  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    You betcha!

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