Nearly two months after suffering a near-fatal heart attack, The Biggest Loser trainer/host Bob Harper opens up about the moment he collapsed at the gym, Today reported.
“I was in full cardiac arrest,” Harper told Today. “My heart stopped. Not to be dramatic, but I was dead. I was on that ground dead.”
On February 12, Bob joined his friends at the gym, something he does nearly every Sunday morning. After his regular workout, the celebrity fitness trainer dropped to his knees. then he fell to the ground and stopped breathing.
“I had what they call a ‘widow-maker,”’ Harper explained. “It was a 6 percent survival rate, and the fact that there were doctors in the gym when I had the heart attack saved my life.”
It was quick thinking that saved Bob’s life. One of his coaches located two doctors in the gym that were able to perform CPR and used a defibrillator, a device that delivers a dose of electric currents to restart the heart.The paramedics arrived at the gym quickly which helped increase his odds of survival.
Harper said that he was told that before he arrived at the hospital, the paramedics used the defibrillator on him three times. He remembers walking up from the heart attack several days later, completely shocked and confused about why he was in the hospital.
“I was like, wait, why am I here? What happened to me? And 10 minutes later I was asking the same thing and getting super emotional.”
During a sudden cardiac arrest, which means the heart electrical system malfunctions abruptly, the heart stops beating, and there is no blood pumping through the body or the brain. Death can occur within minutes. Bob only survived his heart attack because of he received medical attention quickly. The fact that he is overall healthy and exercises regularly, helped increase his odds, as well.
“I’ve learned a lot about myself. I’ve learned a lot about the fact that genetics played a part in this. It is so important to know your health,” Bob said of his heart attack.
According to Us Weekly, Bob said that before his heart attack, he recalled feeling a few dizzy spells but didn’t think anything about them. Harper had an increased risk of heart disease because his mother passed away from a massive heart attack.
“Maybe I should’ve really taken that more seriously,” Harper stated. “It’s been a huge wake-up call for me.”
“I’m a guy that lives a very healthy lifestyle, very regimented — I work out all the time. But there were things that were going on in my body that I needed to be more aware of.”
The medical team placed Bob in a two-day medically induced coma and placed two stents in his heart to help keep his arteries open. Harper said that the stents should reduce his risk of future heart attacks.
Now that he is feeling better, under his doctor’s supervision, he walks for an hour a day. He learned that sometimes rigorous and extreme exercises aren’t better for you, and he was forced to slow it down and enjoy life.
Bob admits that after his heart attack, he had a serious bout with depression. Even though he was feeling better physically, the emotional aspect of the heart attack took longer to overcome.
“It’s been hard. I’m going through some depression. You really face your mortality. And I’m really understanding what’s important in life.”
One thing Bob learned from his health scare was the importance for a gym to have an AED machine and people trained in CPR. If his gym hadn’t had an AED machine or someone present that knew CPR, he would have died.
“I will never ever walk into a gym again that doesn’t have CPR, people that know their CPR, and there’s an AED somewhere in that gym,” Harper said.
Bob Harper has shared his journey following his heart attack on social media. He encourages everyone to get checked by their doctor regularly. He knows firsthand that you may think you are healthy because you eat well and exercise, but there could be an underlying issue that could kill you in a blink of an eye.
[Featured Image by Robin Marchant/Getty Images]