THE DAY MY HEART STOPPED

The Sun­rise sports re­porter died for two min­utes and had to be brought back to life

Woman’s Day (Australia) - - Celebrity News -

Big-hearted TV star Mark Beretta lit­er­ally ap­pre­ci­ates ev­ery sin­gle sun­rise – and sun­set – af­ter be­ing rushed into surgery and al­most los­ing his life fol­low­ing com­pli­ca­tions from a ter­ri­ble wa­ter­ski­ing ac­ci­dent ear­lier this year.

The sports re­porter on Seven’s breakfast show Sun­rise kept his near-death ex­pe­ri­ence secret un­til now, ad­mit­ting he was so scared, he said his fi­nal good­byes to his wife Rachel, daugh­ter Ava, 13, and 10-year-old son Daniel, be­fore doc­tors were forced to stop his heart for two min­utes and restart it to keep him alive.

“I re­mem­ber think­ing I was in a vine­yard at a big wooden ta­ble, it was all very rus­tic, and there were heaps of peo­ple there, in­clud­ing the doc­tor in charge of my op­er­a­tion – that was my view of the other side,” he says.

Mark can joke about it now, but at the time he re­ally did fear he may not sur­vive the op­er­a­tion. And he says the ex­pe­ri­ence of con­fronting his own mor­tal­ity has com­pletely changed his out­look on life.

“When I was wait­ing to go down to the­atre, I sent a mes­sage on text to Rach say­ing I loved her and the kids… but I wasn’t t ready to stay at the vine­yard.

“I wake up now and think ev­ery day is a gift.”

UN­LUCKY AC­CI­DENT

The night­mare be­gan for Mark k when he broke his kneecap and tore his quadri­ceps mus­cle e off the bone dur­ing a day of wa­ter­ski­ing on the Sun­shine Coast that turned hor­ri­bly wrong as he was “re­liv­ing his glory days”.

Mark, who won 10 Aus­tralian wa­ter­ski cham­pi­onships when he was in his 20s, says he was hav­ing the best day ever when he took a turn too hard and “my legs went one way and my body went the other” leav­ing “bits of me point­ing in all direc­tions”. But the ag­o­nis­ing p pain he was in from the ac­ci­dent was just the b be­gin­ning of the or­deal f for Mark. For while t the op­er­a­tion at Royal N North Shore Hos­pi­tal i in Syd­ney was a success, h he de­vel­oped deep vein t throm­bo­sis just days la later, af­ter a flight to P Perth for a char­ity event. “I woke up and felt li like some­one was sitting o on my stom­ach and p punch­ing me in the c chest,” re­veals Mark, 51. “I was in un­be­liev­able pain, my heart was skip­ping. I was sitting in bed with my heart rac­ing like I was do­ing a marathon.”

AT DEATH’S DOOR

Rachel took Mark to hos­pi­tal, where his heart rate was recorded at 190 beats per­minute. per minute. His nor­mal rest­ing heart rate is 54.

“It’s a bit like revving your car en­gine, and it can se­ri­ously dam­age the heart,” he says.

With the sur­geon warn­ing he could suf­fer a stroke, Mark says he was “prob­a­bly the most scared I’ve ever been” be­fore he was taken into surgery, where doc­tors stopped his heart to try to re­store its cor­rect rhythm.

“Then it’s ex­actly what you see in the movies… There was a big whack and I bounced up from the ta­ble,” he says, adding he found it very tough men­tally, re­al­is­ing he had come close to los­ing his life.

“You can be fit and feel­ing a mil­lion dol­lars and your life is ac­tu­ally hang­ing by a thread.

“I’ve ad­justed my at­ti­tude to life – I don’t sweat the small things any­more – and I’m spend­ing more time with the kids at home. It was all pretty y in­tense.”

WD 29

With Rachel and kids Ava, 13, and Daniel, 10. It was just a very painful break and a tear at first…

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