Dead Man Walking: Heart Stopped for 45 Mins, Lives to Tell

A miracle

Wednesday, Sep 2, 2009  |  Updated 1:22 PM EDT
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Dead Man Walking: Heart Stopped for 45 Mins, Lives to Tell

Daily News

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A Brooklyn man is on his way to recovery after doctors say his heart stopped beating for 45 minutes.

Joseph Tiralosi was released from the hospital Tuesday. He had gone to the emergency room at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center on Aug. 17 because he wasn't feeling well. Within minutes of his arrival, he collapsed and his heart stopped beating.

"I was at the end, and now I'm back," Tiralosi, a 56-year-old chauffeur, told the Daily News just before he left the hospital, where doctor called it a miracle. "You couldn't ask for a better ending."

Doctors and nurses tried CPR and shocked him multiple times with a defibrillator. A last-ditch effort to break up any clots finally worked, and Tiralosi's pulse finally came back.

Doctors kept his body cold while they removed a clot and Tiralosi's heart started working normally.

Doctors say he lived through the episode without incurring any brain damage, which is virtually unheard of. He is still weak now but hopes to fully recover.

"I'm just so grateful -- this hospital gave me my life back," Tiralosi told the News. "However long it takes for me to get back 100%, I'm okay with it. Time's on my side now."

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