The Italian Almanac

cardiac arrest

Italian News - October 15

Rinaldo Maestrelli, 73, was declared dead by doctors after they battled to revive him from a cardiac arrest. The medics had struggled for 25 minutes to save his life using both chest massage and electric shocks, but gave up on their frantic efforts after his heart monitor flatlined. But 35 minutes later the device began to beep again and staff rushed back in to see the man had come back to life. His heart had begun beating again and he was able to faintly talk to doctors at the Carlo Poma hospital in Mantova, Lombardy, where the drama happened.

Italian television and newspapers were calling the event a miracle, and Mr Maestrelli was even described as looking healthier than before the incident. On Italian television, his daughter, Nicoletta, said: "We were preparing for his funeral and now we are going to throw a party. It is a miracle. We have passed from heartache and grief to complete joy in less than an hour. We had a call from the hospital to say that he had died and as we were on our way in they called again to say he was alive."

"For 35 minutes he was dead, the doctors said, but somehow his heart came back and it started beating again." Roberto Zanini, a cardiac specialist at the hospital, said: "You do sometimes get these sort of unusual cases in medicine."

Mr Maestrelli is now understood to be recovering.