Posted by torbennielsen on 09/25/2016

When I was 40 I had 3 minor heart attacks and had been on medication ever since. I thought i was doing well.
Recently had started to get angina after eating so had booked in to get an angiogram done.

Went on holiday to Queenstown New Zealand and on my 2nd day we walked up to some chairlifts so we could go down a luge from the top. I had done the same trip the day before and gone to a restaurant up top with no problems.

Apparently I collapsed on the concrete path waiting to get our tickets. Basically heart stopped. The attendance inside the ticket booth were trained in CPR. Spent about 6mins on me and then used a defibrillator and managed to resuscitate me.
By then the fire brigade had turned up and then the ambulance. My heart stopped again on the way to hospital and they had to use a defibrillator on me again. I was flown by helicopter to Dunedin hospital.

I cant remember any off this day nor the next 2 days. Apparently every time I woke up the first couple of days I asked the same questions repeatedly. After the first day they wrote all the answers down to the questions I would ask and would say hear read this first.
I have spent the last 10 weeks recovering from broken ribs, back problems, memory lost, problems with speaking (also sustained concussion on top of hypoxia to brain). I'm grateful though that I'm alive.

Originally I didn't seem emotionally impacted by the incident because I couldn't remember it. My wife and daughter were far more impacted than me. Lately though every time I hear about someone dying, I've been experiencing heavy emotions and sadness. or like last night when watching the film Sully, hearing the helicopter's caused me to panic and cry. I'm not usually like this.
I thought I was ok to go back to work, I'm a real estate photographer, but been finding I get tired quite easily as well.

I have been slowly improving over time and hope my short term memory improves as well.
Luckily I've got great support from the health care system and my family.


Submitted by SCAFoundation on 09/30/2016


We are glad to know you survived cardiac arrest and we wish you a full recovery. Please be assured that you are not alone and that memory loss and being more emotional are common among survivors. You bring up the important point that the family is greatly impacted by the event. We hope this site provides an opportunity for you and your family to find support and encouragement.