West Carrollton man was dead for 45 minutes

Published: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 @ 4:38 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 @ 4:38 PM

It just wasn’t his time to go.

West Carrollton resident Tony Yahle died Aug. 5. In fact, he was dead for nearly one hour.

As he slept that night, his breathing alarmed his wife, Melissa. She called for help, and he was rushed to Kettering Medical Center.

A team of medical personnel attempted to stimulate his heart, but it stopped beating for 45 minutes. He was declared dead.

As nurses prepared him to be seen by his family, Yahle began to show signs of life. Yahle was taken by medical helicopter to Ohio State University’s medical facility, where he awakened five days later.

A 37-year-old diesel mechanic, Yahle said he had no awareness of what happened until family members told him. He said he did not have any afterlife experience that he can recall.

“I have no memory of anything. I went to bed … woke up five days later in the hospital.”

What caused Yahle’s heart to stop that night is still unknown. His cardiologist said it is beyond rare.

“In the last 20 years, I’ve never seen anybody we have pronounced dead … and then for him to come back … I’ve never seen it,” said Dr. Raja Nazir. “Actually, I’ve never heard of it.”

Nazir said Yahle has been a topic of discussion among medical circles.

“They couldn’t find any defects in my heart,” Yahle said. “The last guess they had was that it was a possible viral infection.”

Yahle’s son, 18-year-old Lawrence, said he spoke to his father after his death, right before he revived.

“I pointed at him and said, ‘Dad, you’re not going to die today.’ I stood there for a few more seconds. I was about to walk back to comfort the family, and that’s when he started showing signs of a heartbeat.

“It went from hopeless to hope in an instant,” Lawrence Yahle said.

Melissa Yahle said that throughout the incident, she felt God’s presence.

“People can believe it or not, but God actually spoke to me and said, ‘If you have faith, it will be done.’ From that moment on, I never doubted,” she said.

“It has definitely strengthened my faith, and my family’s faith,” Tony Yahle said.

After appearing on WHIO-TV earlier this week, Yahle and his family shared his story in an appearance on CNN on Aug. 23.

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