Fitness and health icon Bob Harper is opening up about the heart attack that almost killed him on February 12th. The 51-year-old claims that he only survived because he was at a gym equipped to perform life-saving measures at the time, and two doctors happened to be there to pitch and help.
Harper appeared on Today Tuesday a month-and-a-half after waking up from a two-day coma. The Biggest Loser team leader tells Today’s Savannah Guthrie: “I had what they call a widowmaker. It was a 6 percent survival rate.”
- He continues: “I was in full cardiac arrest. My heart stopped. Not to be dramatic, but I was dead. I was on that ground dead.”
- When he first collapsed, he said fellow gym members were unfazed. “If you’ve ever done CrossFit, you know that sometimes people go down to the ground,” he explains. “It wasn’t until a minute or so later that people realized that something was going on.”
- Luckily for him, two doctors who were also there working out were able to step in. He doesn’t take his brush with death lightly, saying he would only ever enter a gym if it has the ability to bring him back to life.
- “The fact that there were doctors in the gym when I had the heart attack saved my life,” Harper says. “I will never ever walk into a gym again that doesn’t have CPR, people that know their CPR, and there’s an AED somewhere in that gym.”
- While he is going through physical rehab, Harper says the emotional workout he's muddling through is tougher. “I am going through some depression," he explains. "You really face your mortality. And I’m really understanding what’s not important and what’s really important in life.”