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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What we do know for sure is that immediate CPR and prompt defibrillation change the odds of survival significantly.

Posted: Jul 20, 2011 4:42 PM
Updated: Jul 20, 2011 4:49 PM
Mike Paluska - email

Angie Durham said her words literally saved her husband's life after he suffered a massive heart attack.

It was Memorial Day, Alan Durham said he had just finished exercising and was sitting on his front swing. All of a sudden he had a heart attack. By the time Angie called 911 and paramedics loaded Alan into the ambulance he was in full cardiac arrest.

"He didn't have a pulse for about 20 minutes," said Angie.

Paramedics rushed Alan to Kennestone Hospital where doctors continued to work on Alan, but he was unresponsive.

The Durham's are high school sweethearts. They met in 10th grade and they've been together ever since. Angie said she thought she was losing her husband, her life, her soul mate.

"I walked in and they were shocking him, they were doing CPR, everything," said Angie. "It didn't even look like him. His eyes were not the same, it did not look like my husband at all and I could tell he was gone. There was no heartbeat, he was not breathing," Angie said.

That's when Angie said he doctor did something unusual, that she believes, ended up saving her husband's life.

"He wanted me to be there so I could talk to him, and tell him goodbye," said Angie. "The doctor told me to stand by his head and I did. I yelled that I loved him, and he couldn't leave me now and I couldn't live without him."

Little did Angie know that at that moment as she was walking out of the room, Alan took a breath and his heart started beating.

"When you talk about and you think about it, I was basically dead and I came back. It is amazing," said Alan. "I am still trying to figure out the mystery of how and why. I don't know why God brought me back. But I am still here it was God's grace. There is something I have to do," said Alan.

Alan does not like all the publicity but hopes his story will spur others to go and get tested for heart disease. Prior to his near fatal heart attack, Alan said he had no signs of trouble. His father does have a history of heart disease, but Alan said he didn't think it would strike him. He is urging everyone to get checked out.