Former Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper suffered a massive heart attack on Feb. 12 during a workout at the gym, and has now revealed that he was technically dead for a time before doctors revived him.


“I had what they call a ‘widowmaker,'” he said in an interview with The Today Show. “It was a six percent survival rate. I was in full cardiac arrest. My heart stopped. Not to be dramatic, but I was dead. I was on that ground dead.”

Harper, 51, was in a coma for two days and is so thankful that there were doctors present in the gym that day. “There was an event going on at the gym and found two doctors that were there. I was so lucky. Thank God. They started performing CPR on me, they pulled out the AEDs and used that on my twice before the paramedics got there super quick and they jolting me one more time. The fact that there were doctors in the gym when I had the heart attack saved my life,” Harper added. “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.”

Apparently Harper fell to the ground but this move is typical in exercisers who do CrossFit, so no one realized what was wrong for about a minute. “I don’t remember that day at all,” he said. “I was told I went to the gym as I always do. It was Sunday morning, I was working out with some friends of mine at the end of the workout I went down to the ground. If you’ve ever done CrossFit, you know that sometimes people go down to the ground. It wasn’t until a minute or so later that people realized that something was going on.”

The coma and heart attack combined left Harper with short term memory loss for a few days. “I was like Dory from Finding Nemo because I had this short-term memory loss. I was reliving the heart attack over and over again,” he said — adding that his friends and family were there to answer his questions. “’Wait, why am I here? What happened to me?’ Then 10 minutes later, I was like, ‘Wait, what happened to me?’ It was really so sad but kind of funny too.”

The trainer confirms that in spite of the incident, “I feel good. 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. I’m feeling good, I’m taking it one day at a time. I’m doing exactly what the doctors tell me.”

Harper also says he has been suffering depression because of the sudden change and health scare. “You really face your mortality,” he says. “I’m not sweating the small things anymore and I’m not swearing the big things anymore… I’m going to appreciate every single day that is here… I’ve learned a lot about myself [and] a lot about the fact that genetics does play a part in thins.” Harper’s mother died a heart attack.

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