A California man died eight times from a “‘widow-maker” heart attack, living to tell the tale — and he’s as fearful of his own mortality as he ever was.
Evan Wasserstrom was just 40 years old when tragedy struck — the Angeleno was getting ready to walk his lab, Atticus Finch, when he began to feel strange, unfamiliar sensations.
“It was like the sun burning inside the veins of my left arm. Sweating profusely, I felt like I had just gone for a swim with all my clothes on. It was like no feeling I had ever experienced before,” he told Insider.
The death-defying dog dad quickly called emergency services and explained to the operator that he was either having the worst panic attack of his life or a heart attack, New York Post reported.
The ambulance arrived right as Evan blacked out. He had to be revived using defibrillators six times while going to hospital.
“The paramedic said it was like a ping-pong match — every time they shocked me back to life, I would flatline again for about 30 to 40 seconds,” he said.
Evan died two more times at the hospital for two minutes each. In total, he died eight times in one day.
Once stabilised, doctors rushed him into surgery when he received two stents — turns out, the widow-maker artery had a 100 per cent blockage, while a second artery was 70 per cent blocked.
“The term ‘widow-maker’ historically comes from the greater risk of a 100 per cent blockage in the left anterior descending (LAD) artery, which carries almost 50 per cent of the blood to your heart muscle,” according to Dr. Ajay J. Kirtane of New York-Presbyterian.
Evan was placed in a medically induced coma in the ICU and hooked up to an ECMO machine, which kept his heart beating.
Doctors didn’t think he would survive, warning Evan’s family that even if he did, they didn’t know he would be able to walk or talk. Somehow, he shot out of his coma and made a miraculous recovery.
“My friends and family think I’m invincible … I feel anything but,” Evan confessed.
He’s had an obsession with death from a young age, he said — and still does.
“This is real life, and it will eventually end — that’s not a theoretical thought for me anymore. It’s actually part of my lived experience,” he said.
“[But] dying eight times hasn’t cured me of fear or worry.”
This story originally appeared on the New York Post and reproduced with permission