A man who ‘died’ twice after his heart stopped for almost an hour has stunned doctors by making a miraculous recovery.
Ben Wilson, 31, from Barnsley, suffered a cardiac arrest at his home last June.
Paramedics had to shock his heart 17 times to bring him back to life, and his heart technically stopped twice in 50 minutes.
After being rushed to hospital for emergency surgery, Wilson was placed in a coma for five weeks to minimize damage to his brain due to temporary lack of oxygen.
Doctors repeatedly told her partner Rebekka Holmes that her outcome “didn’t look good”, and her family was aware that her chances of survival were slim.
Doctors had little hope that Ben Wilson, 31, who suffered a massive heart attack at his home in June, would survive after paramedics were forced to shock him 17 times to restart his heart.
But in a miraculous turn of events, Ben made an almost full recovery and is now back home, with him and his partner Rebekka Holmes planning their wedding.
Even if he somehow pulled through, Wilson’s family was told he could end up in a vegetative state, similar to F1 legend Michael Schumacher.
However, Wilson, a traffic management officer, defied the odds and is now finally home after his near-death ordeal.
After painstakingly learning to walk and talk again, he is now planning his wedding after proposing to Miss Holmes in December. According to her, he only suffers from very mild speech and short-term memory problems.
Praising his fiancée’s support, he said: “I’m so grateful that everyone allowed me to be here today and that Rebekka is there.”
“I don’t know what would have happened to me if she had left.
“I have a second chance at life and I will take advantage of it with Rebekka by my side.”
Ms Holmes performed CPR immediately after Mr Wilson became limp in her arms after he complained of chest pains, a common symptom of a heart attack.
Although it is unclear what exactly caused Wilson’s cardiac arrest, heart attacks, in which the arteries supplying the organ become blocked, can cause it.
Doctors ultimately determined that Mr. Wilson’s cardiovascular emergency was caused by a blood clot blocking an artery in his heart.
Without CPR, cardiac arrests can kill in minutes.
Because the heart stops and all signs of life cease, it is considered a form of death, although not in the legal sense, as it can be reversed by restarting the heart.
This is done through CPR or a shock from a defibrillator, but neither method guarantees survival.
Therefore, Ms. Holmes’s quick thinking probably substantially increased Mr. Wilson’s chances of success.
But even when professional help arrived, Miss Holmes recalled how the crew had to fight to save their “soulmate”.
“When the paramedics arrived they said he didn’t look good,” she said.
‘They used a defibrillator to shock him 11 times in 40 minutes before they finally got his heart beating.
“But when they took him out into the garden, he went again and they gave him six electric shocks in another 10 minutes and they brought him back.
“He was put into an induced coma immediately to minimize any damage.”
Victims of cardiac arrest are often placed in an induced coma to minimize damage to the brain from lack of oxygen by slowing its activity.
Being deprived of oxygen for as long as Mr Wilson was may result in patients only surviving in a vegetative state, even if they are revived, due to the extent of brain damage they may suffer.
Wilson was given a blue light to Northern General to have a stent, a wire mesh that would keep the artery in his heart open.
Doctors told her loved ones, including Ms Holmes (pictured kissing Mr Wilson), nine times that she would not survive over the course of her five-week coma.
Although the emergency operation was successful, Wilson suffered a series of serious complications which meant he was still fighting for his life.
He suffered a dangerous swelling of the brain two days later and Miss Holmes was told it was probably the beginning of the end.
At one point, they called his family to say goodbye because he suffered multiple additional heart attacks. Even his loved ones were told that Wilson would not survive that night.
Doctors also struggled to bring Mr Wilson out of a coma because his body would suffer life-threatening reactions.
These included seizures, kidney failure and even another blood clot that caused problems with his breathing tube.
Recalling her partner’s terrifying experience, Miss Holmes said: “I stayed by his side the whole time, telling him I loved him.”
“I sang him our song ‘Dream a Little Dream of Me,’ sprayed my perfume on his pillow and put a stuffed animal he bought me, saying ‘I love you to the moon and back,’ next to him.
“I think my love for him helped him get through it. It’s a miracle he survived but there are studies that say love and touch can help.
“Ben has always been a hopeless romantic, he would give me flowers and cards and I feel like I was repaying him for all the love and affection he has shown me over the seven years we have been together.”
When Mr. Wilson finally emerged from his medically induced coma, the first word he murmured was, “Rebekka.”
“That was a beautiful moment,” he said.
He would spend the next four months in the hospital waiting for a spot to become available at the neuropsychiatric rehabilitation center dedicated to treating brain injury victims.
Finally, after 14 weeks in rehab and a total of eight and a half months since his heart attack, Wilson returned home permanently last week.
Miss Holmes said: ‘While in rehab, Ben was able to come home at weekends and in December he asked me to marry him. She knelt down and asked the question.
‘Of course I said yes.
“We are now planning the completed works and an incredible honeymoon awaits us next.”
Miss Holmes added: “I can’t help but think that if one person hadn’t done their job I might not be here today, but each person did an absolutely incredible job.”
“We can’t thank you enough.”
The couple said doctors have been unable to pinpoint exactly why Wilson had recovered so miraculously after his ordeal.
Dr Jennifer Hill, medical director of operations at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, where he was treated, said: “We are delighted to hear that Ben is doing well and his recovery is even more remarkable given the severity of his condition when he was admitted. in the hospital.
“The fact that he has made such good progress is a testament to the skill of the medical teams here and our colleagues across the region’s health service and, of course, to Ben’s determination and resilience.”
Doctors told the couple that the cause of the blood clot that triggered his heart attack was likely due to Wilson’s unhealthy habits of sedentary gambling, smoking and a poor diet.