BEN Wilson was clinically ‘dead’ for 50 minutes when he had a heart attack on June 11 – and if it wasn’t for his girlfriend, it’s likely the 31-year-old wouldn’t have survived.
But today, ‘medical mystery’ Ben is looking forward to getting home to his now fiancee 27-year-old Becki Holmes – and is determined to make the most of his second chance at life.
Becki Holmes said: “He’s a medical mystery. He died for 50 minutes – the ambulance workers shocked him 17 times before his heart started beating again and he came back.
“Whilst he was in Northern General Hospital in Sheffield he had brain swelling, his kidneys packed in and he had some seizures. Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong.”
Becki was told that Ben would likely be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life – but the Worsbrough man, who she describes as a ‘fighter’, has defied the odds time and time again.
“He was put into an induced coma at Northern General,” she added. “He had a blood clot in his breathing tube which meant he had very little oxygen for about four hours. He had multiple cardiac arrests and we were told three times that day that he wouldn’t survive. But he did.
“When he came out of that hospital and moved to Barnsley Hospital he started to improve.
“The prognosis was that he would be in a vegetative state for the rest of his life. They couldn’t believe it when he walked out.
“With my help he’s managed to rehabilitate himself – he’s taught himself how to walk and talk again.”
Becki, who was taught how to do CPR following training at work, believes that Ben wouldn’t be here today if she didn’t know the life-saving technique – and is urging everyone to learn.
“It’s so important to know how to do it,” she added.
“I learnt how to do CPR through work and I don’t think that Ben would be here without it.
“If you see someone collapse then you’ve only got a few minutes before their brain goes dead.”
Ben, who is currently at a neuropsychiatric care and treatment service for men affected by acquired brain injuries, hasn’t spent more than three days at home since his heart attack.
But following his ‘miraculous recovery’ Ben is due to finally return home within the next four weeks.
Ben said that he is getting better every day and is excited for his ‘second chance of life’.
“I have speech and memory issues because I have a hypoxic brain injury,” he added.
“But I feel strong and well. I don’t remember anything when it happened or the early days in hospital, but Becki has told me what has happened. It has made me want to make the most of my second chance at life.
“My speech is a bit slower than it was and I have one and off short-term memory loss, but I’m still getting better every day.”
And the pair are certainly aiming to make the most of the future.
“He’s at neuro rehab currently but he’s made such a miraculous recovery,” she said.
“He’s got intermittent memory loss and his is speech is every so slightly slower than it was. It genuinely is a miracle.
“Barnsley Hospital have done a study on him and doctors in Sheffield couldn’t believe it.
“He’s a fighter, that’s for sure. We couldn’t have done any of this without the support from friends and family. In December, he asked me to marry him – we’ve got to make every minute count now.
“They’ve told me he’s got four weeks of rehabilitation left and then he can come home – we’re so excited.”
A Barnsley Hospital spokesperson added: "We are delighted to hear that Ben is recovering well.
“That is in no small part due to the skill and dedication of our colleagues across local health services.
“Barnsley has been active in campaigns such as 'Restart A Heart', which is an alliance of health partners raising awareness of cardiac arrests.
“The campaign includes training events and opportunities for people to learn life-saving CPR.”