Man dies for 10 minutes after heart attack, hospital brings him back to life

Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 11:22 AM MST
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LAS VEGAS (KVVU/Gray News) - A Las Vegas man defied the odds after surviving a heart attack and dying for 10 minutes.

Tamas Kalmar, 49, works as a casino dealer at the Aria hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip and has called Vegas home for several years.

However, on Feb. 14 he collapsed while working on his motorcycle and suffered a heart attack, as reported by FOX 5 Las Vegas.

“I just lost my breath, hit the ground like a sack of potatoes,” Kalmar said.

Kalmar’s wife called 911, and he was taken to Sunrise Hospital.

“I remember that I got assigned bed number eight in the ER, and that was the last thing I actually remember ... it was just complete darkness,” Kalmar said.

Dr. Nayab Zafar, Structural Heart Program medical director at Sunrise Hospital, was assigned to treat Kalmar and says the 49-year-old suffered cardiac arrest -- a 100% blockage in the heart.

“Right in front of our eyes, he just flatlined, no pulse, no blood pressure, nothing, no signs of life,” Zafar said. The team attempted chest compressions and shocked his heart 40 times to start his heart again.

Fewer than one in 10 people survive a heart attack if it happens outside a hospital, according to Zafar. However, the team says they were confident they could revive Kalmar’s heart.

“We thought we could bring him back. ... We knew we could bring him back, we had that conviction,” Zafar said.

Kalmar said he’s grateful for his doctors and nurses at Sunrise Hospital.

“I appreciate all the effort and care that they put into saving my life,” Kalmar said.

The casino worker said he hopes to fully recover and return to work soon. Kalmar is also fundraising for his medical expenses through GoFundMe.

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