A 13-year-old British athlete is being hailed a “miracle” by doctors after he collapsed and died for 15 minutes and survived.
James Doherty went into cardiac arrest while playing tennis at Hazelwood Tennis Academy in Enfield, Middlesex, on Sept. 8, the Daily Mail reports.
The teenager was given CPR until paramedics arrived and defibrillated his heart. He was rushed to the hospital where he was stabilized and almost 24 hours after his collapse he finally came around, according to the report.
“The doctor who treated him said he was unique and it was extraordinarily miraculous that he survived,” his mother Sarah told the Mail.
James was eventually diagnosed with long QT syndrome, which is a disorder of the heart’s electrical activity, according to the National Institutes of Health. As a result, a person may develop sudden and dangerous heart rhythm in response to exercise and stress, the NIH said on its Web site.
Although more than half of people who have an untreated, inherited form of the syndrome die within 10 years, many people with LQTS can survive with lifestyle changes that include:
— Avoiding strenuous physical activity or startling noises;
— Taking heart medicines called beta blockers, which are very effective at preventing sudden cardiac arrest;
— Having an implantable device, such as a pacemaker to help control abnormal heart rhythms
James was eventually fitted with a defibrillator to control his heart rhythm and is now recovering at home.
Unfortunately, his dreams of becoming a professional tennis player will not come true. He has to give up the sport because it is too strenuous.