Bob Odenkirk Reveals 'Lucky' Twist Of Fate That Meant He Survived On-Set Heart Attack
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Odenkirk, 59, was rushed to hospital in New Mexico in July 2021, later telling fans that he had suffered a ‘small heart attack’ and that he was thankfully ‘doing great’ and would be ‘back soon’.
As promised, he returned to set a month later, having posted a photo of himself in the makeup chair with a caption that said: “So happy to be here and living this specific life surrounded by such good people.”
In a new interview, Odenkirk has revealed what happened the day he had the heart attack, admitting it was ‘lucky’ how he had decided not to go back to his trailer.
Speaking to the New York Times, he explained: “I’d known since 2018 that I had this plaque buildup in my heart.
“I went to two heart doctors at Cedars-Sinai, and I had dye and an M.R.I. and all that stuff, and the doctors disagreed.”
Everything had been fine until ‘one of those pieces of plaque broke up’ while on set with co-stars Rhea Seehorn and Patrick Fabian.
Odenkirk continued: “We were shooting a scene – we’d been shooting all day, and luckily I didn’t go back to my trailer.
“I went to play the Cubs game and ride my workout bike, and I just went down. Rhea said I started turning bluish-gray right away.”
After Seehorn and Fabian’s screams alerted others, an automated defibrillator failed to bring Odenkirk’s pulse back – until the third attempt.
The show’s health safety supervisor, Rosa Estrada, arrived with assistant director Angie Meyer, administering CPR and hooking him up to an automated defibrillator.
It zapped him once, then one again, producing an irregular pulse that quickly disappeared’, according to the New York Times.
“The third time,” Odenkirk said, “It got me that rhythm back.”
He was taken to Presbyterian Hospital in Albuquerque by ambulance, and the following morning medics ‘went through’ his wrist and ‘blew up little balloons and knocked out that plaque and left stents in two places’.
Odenkirk said he has no memory of what happened, having had to cobble together the series of events from Seehorn and the others who helped save his life.
Seehorn added: “That’s its own weirdness. You didn’t have a near-death experience — you’re told you had one.”