Man who died for 28 minutes after heart attack describes what he saw on the other side
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A man whose heart stopped for almost half an hour has revealed what it was like to die.
Taekwondo instructor Phill Zdybel, 57, dropped to the floor and suffered a cardiac arrest during a basketball game last November.
Zdybel said he had no warning signs before the sudden cardiac arrest, which was caused by a coronary artery aneurysm and left him clinically dead for 28 minutes.
After seeing Zdybel collapsed to the ground on the court, his son Joshua called paramedics while an off-duty nurse, who happened to be at the game in Geelong, Australia, rushed over to perform CPR.
Meanwhile, fellow attendees were able to find a defibrillator at the centre, which was used on Zdybel in a desperate attempt to revive him.
Zdybel says that while he was lying on the ground he felt as though he was observing what was happening from outside his own body.
Recalling his experience to the Geelong Advertiser, he said: “I would say I was a bit out of body.”
He went on to say that his strong will to live kicked in and he was sure he’d survive it.
“I was not going anywhere,” he added.
Zdybel believes that collapsing in front of so many people, who were able to help and call for assistance, was nothing short of a ‘miracle’.
He went on to explain that had it happened elsewhere there’s a good chance that ‘no one would have found me’ and he would be dead.
Following the collapse, Zdybel was rushed to hospital where he woke several days later on life support and was told he’d been dead for 28 minutes.
He had a stent fitted in his heart and was discharged from hospital a week later.
Zdybel said he initially considered giving up martial arts after his health scare, but six months on he’s back at it and even took part in a competition at the weekend.
He says that he’s now mostly recovered but admitted that he does tire more easily than he used to.
Coming face-to-face with own mortality has, understandably, given Zdybel a different perspective on life and thinks people ought to worry less.
“All the little things we worry about are not worth worrying about,” he said.
“Don't let anyone tell you you can't do anything.”
He’s also urging people to learn how to do potentially life-saving CPR and is advocating for defibrillators to be made widely available across the country.