A father-of-two whose heart stopped following a massive heart attack came ‘back from the dead’ after doctors put him in an ice bath, Ankara, Turkey.
Doctors failed to restart Bulent Sonmez ‘heart when he collapsed shortly after being admitted to hospital with a massive heart attack. But in a last attempt to get his heart beating again, medics used a therapeutic hypothermia treatment to lower his body temperature to limit the effects of a lack of oxygen on the organs.
Once Bulent’s heart had been started again doctors spent around 24 hours maintaining his heart rate and returning his body temperature to normal. But the joy of his family was short-lived as it emerged the 40-year-old could only remember around half his life and had no recollection of his wife and children.
His wife Sibel Sonmez, 39, told local media:
“It was like a movie, I didn’t know how to explain the two children we had waiting at home. I tried to resolve it by showing him photographs, but it took a very long time to be able to convince him.”
Medic Dr Omer Zuhtu said: “We did not find much literature looking in detail at the side effects of therapeutic hypothermia treatment. It remains a controversial procedure but we believe in this case it certainly saved this man’s life.”
Bulent, from has since been able to piece together some of his memory following the life-saving procedure eight months ago but still has huge gaps in his recollections. Therapeutic hypothermia treatment can be used to limit the effects of a lack of oxygen on heart attack patients but can cause severe brain damage.