Man had his heart shocked 34 times following heart attack: 'I'm still here'
A 63-year-old man from Ohio who had his heart shocked 34 times is coming forward with his near-death experience to educate others, WEWS reports.
Frank Briggs, of Hiram, said he was at his home in June, when he said he began to feel pain in his chest.
"It was hurting, I mean real bad," he told the station. "I could hardly stand up. I went and sat down and the wife called 911."
While en route to the hospital, Briggs reportedly had a heart attack in the ambulance.
"It caused this recurrent arrhythmia which is associated with death," said Dr. Gregory Stefano of University Hospitals Geauga, who treated Briggs.
Briggs's heart purportedly went into a ventricular fibrillation — a condition in which the heart beats erratically and causes the ventricles to shake instead of pumping blood. As a result, paramedics shocked him once in the ambulance.
"Usually it’s just one and done, in terms of getting the heart back into a normal rhythm," said Stefano. "But in Frank’s case it was just incessant, it wouldn’t stop."
Once Briggs was in the emergency room, medical staff shocked him 33 more times before his heart was stabilized enough for surgery. Fortunately, Stefano was eventually able to carry out the procedure and unclog the blocked artery.
"He was living on the E.R. staff beating his heart by chest compressions because when you have that rhythm, a heart just is not squeezing out blood and doing what it is supposed to do," Stefano said.
Months later, the Ohio man is slowly recovering but must receive physical therapy several times a week.
"I’m alive, pretty good. My brain is not much worse than it was before, which wasn’t the greatest," he said. "I'm still here."
Stefano said his patient's lucky to be alive, thanks to his wife's quick thinking.
"If Frank’s wife would’ve brought him in and he had the arrhythmia in the car, there would’ve been no way to save him," the doctor said. "He was saved because medical personnel were right on top of him right away."