HIRAM, Ohio (CBS Local) — An Ohio man who had to be shocked 34 times to stabilize his failing heart is now sharing his near-death experience.
Frank Briggs, 63, said he was at his home in Hiram on June 4 when he first felt the pain in his chest.
“Just boom, out of nowhere it came,” he told WEWS. “I went and sat down and the wife called 911.”
Briggs had a heart attack in the ambulance, which caused a potentially fatal heart rhythm disturbance that could lead to death if not treated immediately with defibrillation.
The first shock gave emergency responders the time to get Briggs to University Hospitals Geauga Medical Center.
“Usually it’s just one and done, in terms of getting the heart back into a normal rhythm,” said Dr. Gregory Stefano. “But in Frank’s case it was just incessant, it wouldn’t stop.”
Briggs had to be shocked 33 more times before his heart was stabilized enough for Stefano to open him up and fix the blocked artery.
Months later, Briggs is walking, talking and joking.
“I’m alive pretty good. My brain is not much worse than it was before, which wasn’t the greatest. I’m still here,” he said.