Wife saved South Yorkshire runner who ‘died’ for 15 minutes

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A MARATHON runner ‘died’ for 15 minutes at home after suffering a similar heart failure to footballer Fabrice Muamba.

Sean Rodgers, a housing officer with St Leger Homes of Doncaster, had been training for the Edinburgh marathon when his heart stopped in the night. He sat bolt upright in bed, before collapsing limp and lifeless.

He has since suffered another attack but was revived by a box in his body.

His wife Maria kept him alive by pushing on his chest to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Sean has long QT syndrome, a rare heart rhythm disorder that affects one in every 10,000 people. It causes the heart to beat rapidly and take longer than normal to revert to a normal rhythm.

Sean, aged 43, a father of two, of Lynwood Drive, Mexborough, said: “I was asleep when I had the first incident of my heart stopping - I don’t remember it.

“But I died in my sleep and was gone for 15 minutes.

“My wife kept me going until the paramedics arrived. The paramedics where shocked that I came back.

“Everything I have read about Fabrice Muamba could have been written about myself. I was 11 weeks into a 17-week training programme for the marathon at the time and had no warnings and had not felt ill.

“My wife said I sat bolt upright and was gasping for air and rigid. She noticed I wasn’t breathing. She rang 999 and they told her what to do and said the ambulance was on its way.

“One of the paramedics told me at the time he had said I had already gone. But they zapped with a defibrillator and my heart started again. They said I was saved because I was fit and because of the prompt actions of Maria.”

Sean will run his fourth London marathon, his fifth marathon, to raise money for Arrhythmia Alliance, The Heart Rhythm Charity.

n Log on to http://www.justgiving.com/sean-rodgers .