Bob Harper on His Massive Heart Attack: ‘I Was Dead'
Over a month after his major heart attack, “The Biggest Loser” host Bob Harper is opening up on the near-death experience.
During a Tuesday morning interview on “Today” with Savannah Guthrie, Harper shared about his condition, "I had what they call a widowmaker, and it was a 6 percent survival rate… I was in full cardiac arrest. My heart stopped. I was, I mean, not to be dramatic, but I was dead. I was on that ground, dead.”
Of the incident, Harper admitted that he had no recollection of "that day at all.” He shared, "I was told I went to the gym like I always do. It was Sunday morning, I was working out with some friends of mine, and at the end of the workout, I went down to the ground.” Watch!
Once he collapsed, the gym's coach found two doctors at a nearby event who worked to save his life. "I was so lucky. Thank God they were there. They started performing CPR on me, they pulled out the AEDs and used that on me twice before the paramedics got there super quick, and they jolted me one more time.”
"The fact that there were doctors in the gym when I had the heart attack saved my life,” Harper emphasized. “I will never, ever walk into a gym again that doesn't have CPR, people that know their CPR, and there is an AED somewhere in that gym.”
After he was rushed to the hospital, the 51-year-old would be unconscious for two days. After he awoke from his coma, he suffered “short-term memory loss.” He explained, “I was like Dory from 'Finding Nemo' because I had this short-term memory, so I was reliving the heart attack over and over again… 'Wait, why am I here? What happened to me?' and 10 minutes later I was asking the same thing and just getting super emotional. My friends, they were so great, they were like, 'It was really so sad, but kind of funny, too.'"
Bob has been seeing progress in his recovery since the scary episode. He said, "I feel good. I mean, I've been doing my cardiac rehab, Monday Wednesday and Friday. It's been hugely beneficial for me. They've taken such good care of me. So, I'm feeling good, I'm taking it one day at a time, and I'm doing exactly what the doctors tell me.”
Harper revealed, "It was hugely shocking for me, and I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned a lot about the fact that genetics does play a part in this. It is so important to know your health.”
Though he is feeling good physically, Bob told Guthrie he is struggling with his emotional well-being. “It's been hard... I am going through some depression. You really face your mortality. And I'm really understanding what's important and what's really important in life, and let me tell ya, Savannah, I am not sweatin' the small things anymore and I am not sweatin' the big things anymore."