Man Revived After Being Dead for 18 Hours

An unnamed Frenchman has survived a heart attack, despite his heart stopping for 18 hours, Daily Mail reports.

The man managed to avoid death because his heart attack occurred outside and his body temperature fell rapidly after he suffered hypothermia.

"The medical team was stupefied," said Jonathan Charbit, who's in charge of the intensive care unit at Montpellier University Hospital in southern France. The 53-year-old was apparently resuscitated after he was found unconscious by a river.

The man was walking back from his brother's house in Beziers on March 12. When he didn't return home, family members searched for him and found him by the river.

"The probability of him surviving was near to zero," Charbit added. He went on to say that the man survived because the decline in his body temperature protected his organs, in addition to emergency workers trying to revive him after they discovered the cold preserved his body.

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Heart massages were performed on the patient for more than four hours before he was able to be placed on a heart-lung machine, which kept him alive until his body temperature became warm enough for doctors to make a last successful attempt to get his heart pumping again.

The patient is still on respiratory support but his now able to walk. The head of the intensive care unit, Xavier Capdevila, said the man is "heading towards a total recovery."