Dad-of-two makes full recovery after 'dying' 17 times
A man whose heart needed restarting 17 times is making a recovery after doctors carried out an emergency operation on him in an A&E department.
John Gilmartin (41) from Derby in England had his heart restarted 11 times on the way to hospital and a further six times at Royal Derby Hospital.
Doctors operated in the A&E department's resuscitation room. They also carried out a procedure to fit a miniature pump in Mr Gilmartin's heart while he was still in A&E -- in what has been described as a first for the hospital.
Mr Gilmartin is recovering at home with wife Sally and children Jade (11) and Jack (14).
He told 'The Derby Telegraph': "I can hardly remember any of it but I'm so grateful to be alive. I remember nothing until I woke up in intensive care. The whole thing is so surreal.
"It's a complete blank until intensive care -- I had no idea what had happened."
Mrs Gilmartin said: "He woke up that morning and he was fine -- he went to the shop, came back and went upstairs.
"It was when he came back he said he wasn't feeling very well and I noticed his face was drained of colour.
"He went outside for a bit of fresh air but then he was sick down the drain, so I told him to go and lie down.
"The next thing, he's lying on the bed all stiff and purple, with his eyes in the back of his head, and I'm shouting, 'John! John!' at him but getting nothing back.
Dr Gareth Hughes, who worked on keeping Mr Gilmartin alive, said that in repeated-resuscitation cases the patient nearly always suffers neurological damage.
He said: "It's incredibly unusual to have such a successful outcome that not only did he survive but survived completely neurologically intact.
"The fact that he's quite young and probably has reasonable cardiac functions has helped him in this case in that we were able to recover it."