‘Dead’ man recovers for his birthday
UNITED STATES: No-one knows why John Ogburn’s heart stopped beating for more than half an hour during a rather uneventful afternoon in a cafe in North Carolina.
Equally confusing, to the police who found the 35-year-old lying apparently dead on the carpet, is that he would wake again three days later and seem none the worse for wear, apart from some gaps in his short-term memory.
The fact that his heart restarted and that he regained consciousness days later has been credited to two police officers.
They happened to be nearby and rushed into the branch of Panera Bread in a shopping centre on the outskirts of Charlotte.
One of them happened to be a former paramedic who started chest compressions immediately. Lawrence Guiler had been called to a minor incident near the cafe when an alert went out that a man had suffered a cardiac arrest inside.
‘‘I looked up and the Panera Bread is right there,’’ he said.
He believes he began administering CPR to Ogburn 30 seconds later.
A fellow officer, who happened to have been sent out to an incident in the centre’s car park, arrived another 30 seconds after Guiler, who continued taking turns to offer chest compressions with four firefighters who then arrived to open Ogburn’s airways, fit an oxygen mask and to use a defibrillator.
Doctors were later told that eight shocks were administered, along with five rounds of adrenaline, before a faint, erratic pulse began beating once more, 38 minutes after he began receiving treatment.
They would generally be concerned that anyone who went past 30 minutes without a pulse would be at risk of severe brain damage, if they ever regained consciousness. Yet Ogburn’s is pupils were responsive.
In intensive care, his body was cooled by several degrees to slow his metabolism and to allow his body to recover, and then he was brought slowly out of sedation three days later, on what was his 36th birthday.
A week later he was able to thank the officers who saved his life, and who did not give up for 38 minutes.
He is now out of hospital, with a small defibrillator implanted in his chest, in case his heart stops beating again.
‘‘I’m pinching myself that all these things happened that allowed me to still be here,’’ Ogburn said. – The Times
John Ogburn celebrates his 36th birthday in hospital. Right, Ogburn was under sedation as part of his recovery after his heart stopped for half an hour. He awoke three days later.