Man Clinically Dead for 40 Minutes Out of Hospital

An Arizona man, who was clinically dead for about 40 minutes while doctors performed a rare surgery, is now out of the hospital and well on his way to recovery, reported.

Robert Langefeld underwent the life-saving surgery at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz. last week, in which doctors removed blood clots blocking his pulmonary arteries.

The 56-year-old had been suffering from a condition known as major-vessel thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, which forced his heart to work hard just to push the blood through the blocked arteries to his lungs. He also had low blood-oxygen levels and difficulty breathing. His cough was chronic.

Even though the surgery was a risk, Langefeld chose to do it because the disease had already stolen so much of his life.

"It was just so bad. I would cough and then pass out from the coughing," Langefeld said. "I had to do something."

For the surgery, doctors lowered his temperature to 65 degrees. Then they stopped his heart.

A week later the surgery appears to be a success.

“Tired, but I feel a lot better than I did a week ago," Langefeld told

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.