A fit and healthy footballer has spoken of how he was clinically dead for 25 minutes after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Louie Shields, 23, who plays for Poulton FC, suffered the cardiac arrest last year while asleep in bed.
Louie said: “I had a fit at about two or three in the morning while I was in bed at home. Fortunately my girlfriend was lying next to me and she obviously woke up when I starting shaking.
“She ran downstairs to get my mum but by the time my mum had reached me, I was blue from my head to my chest. My girlfriend rang the ambulance straight away while my mum performed CPR.”
Despite his mum’s best efforts, Louie could not be resuscitated and ambulances were quick to arrive at his home. Louie added: “Four ambulance came to my house, paramedics each taking turns shocking me, trying to bring me back to life.
“They were still trying all the way to the hospital and as soon as I got there, I was put on a life support machine.
“I was basically dead for 25 minutes.”
Louie was in a coma for four days and spent the next three weeks in Blackpool Victoria Hospital making a recovery. He has since said he owes his remarkable recovery to experts at The Vic and, despite his ordeal, he was playing football again just five months later.
Yet the 23-year-old says he is still shocked and in a state of disbelief about what happened to him.
He said: “The whole thing is unbelievable, I have never drank, never smoked and never taken drugs.
“All my family and friends were shocked to hear what had happened.”
Louie said how ambulance crews thought he had taken drugs at the time. He said: “They kept asking my mum, has he taken anything, because we need to know now if he has.
“But after doctors found out it was just something I was born with, they all came in to apologise, as at the time they just could not understand it.”
It was later revealed Louie was born with an abnormal electrical connection between the upper and lower chambers of his heart.
The young footballer is already focused on the future and not spending time looking back.
He said: “You just have to get on with your life, something like that makes you look at life totally different.
“I definitely appreciate life a lot more now and certainly never take life for granted.”
Louie recently hosted as black tie ball at the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool to say thank you to ambulance crew members and hospital staff who helped save him.
The glittering event raised more than £4,000 for the Lancashire Cardiac Centre.