Millionaire tech tycoon, 54, reveals heart stopped beating for 21 minutes while thanking ‘hero medics’
A tech mogul whose heart stopped beating for 21 minutes has thanked his quick-thinking daughter and “hero meds” for saving his life.
Nicolas De Santis, 54, CEO of Corporate Vision, went into cardiac arrest and collapsed in front of his daughter after brushing off a mild discomfort in his chest like an infection or severe cold.
Happy the daughter of Mr. De Santis, Alaia, 22, had gone to check on her father in the den of their Mayfair home before dinner, just as his heart stopped beating.
She immediately called 999 and followed the advice of the London Ambulance Service, who began talking to her through CPR.
The tech mogul, who shares the home with his wife Melissa Odabash – an American model whose swimsuit designs have been worn by Beyonce, Rihanna and the Duchess of Cambridge – considered himself “fairly fit” before the incident.
Nicolas De Santis, 54, came close to death after brushing off a slight discomfort in his chest like an infection or severe cold
Mrs. De Santis said: ‘When I saw my father collapse, I knew something serious had happened to him.
“I had never learned CPR, but I knew I had to act quickly because he wasn’t breathing. The operator kept me calm and helped me through what to do.’
Junaid, an Advanced Paramedic Practitioner in Critical Care, recalled that day, “21 minutes is a very long time for a person’s heart to stop beating.
“Every second counts when someone is in cardiac arrest, and good chest compressions — like Alaia’s — help supply the heart and brain with vital oxygen.
“Alaia’s quick actions that day really saved her father’s life.”
Nicolas De Santis pictured with his daughter, Alaia, 22, was also home that day in December 2019 and saw her father collapse in front of her
Mr De Santis with his wife Melissa Odabash – an American model whose swimsuit designs have been worn by Beyonce, Rihanna and the Duchess of Cambridge
At the hospital, Mr De Santis was placed in an artificial coma where he spent a month recovering in an intensive care unit.
The doctors said he had gone into cardiac arrest due to a blocked coronary artery.
He added: ‘I have left this life for 21 minutes. I realize how lucky I am to be alive, and life really is much more beautiful than it used to be. The way I see it, I came back to understand how precious life really is.’
Mr De Santis visited the London Ambulance Service to thank the ‘humble heroes’.
He said, “It’s been so important to me to be able to thank them. Without them I’m not sure I would have survived. I call them my ‘humble heroes’ because they really are heroes and so humble.’
Mr De Santis, the CEO of Corporate Vision, visited the London Ambulance Service to thank the ‘humble heroes’ (pictured)
Melissa Odabash’s stylish swimwear is worn by everyone from Pippa Middleton to the Kardashians
‘I am a 54-year-old male, reasonably fit, play football every weekend and take care of myself with a healthy diet. I never thought something like this could happen to me. It’s totally unpredictable.
“And that’s the point, you never know who it could happen to or when, so that’s why it’s so important to learn these skills. Unfortunately, you are much more likely to have to rescue someone close to you – a friend or relative.
‘I said to’ [my daughter]she can have what she wants.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for giving me another chance in life and the chance to see my daughters grow up, get married and graduate. I am so grateful to everyone that day.”
Miss De Santis, who attended Camberwell Art College, made a name for herself in the art world creating 1960s-inspired collages.
She attended £19,950 a year at More House in Knightsbridge before transferring to Hampstead’s Fine Arts College.
HOW CPR ALLOWED DURING THE PANDEMIC:
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) can be used to try to restart a person’s heart if it has stopped.
CPR should only be used in an emergency situation when a person is unconscious and not breathing.
People without CPR training should stick to hand-only chest compressions, the NHS says.
Due to the current coronavirus outbreak, there are several significant changes to the CPR recommended by the Resuscitation Council UK.
If you find someone unconscious, follow these simple steps:
Step 1: Shake and scream for help. A person in cardiac arrest is not breathing or is not breathing normally. They will also not be conscious.
But don’t keep your face close to theirs to check for breathing or signs of life.
Step 2: Call 999 if the person is not breathing or is not breathing normally. Ask someone to get a public defibrillator that you find in public places like train stations.
Step 3: Use a towel or piece of clothing and place it over their mouth and nose. Check if they are breathing. When you are sure that the person is breathing normally, place them in the recovery position.
Step 4: Only give chest compressions – do not give a rescue breath.
Kneel next to the person. Place the heel of one hand in the center of their chest. Place your other hand on top of the first. Intertwine your fingers.
With arms extended, use the heel of your hand to push the sternum down firmly and smoothly, pushing the chest down between 5-6cm (2-2.5in) and release.
Do this at a rate of 100 to 120 chest compressions per minute – that’s about two per second.
Step 5: Continue until an ambulance arrives or until the person begins to show signs of regaining consciousness, such as coughing, opening eyes, talking, or breathing normally.
Step 6: Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand gel after taking over the ambulance.
Source: British Heart Foundation