Jerry Lawler was a recent guest on “Busted Open Radio”. During the appearance, he discussed the heart attack he had while commentating at episode of Monday Night Raw in 2012. Despite the seriousness of the health issue, Lawler returned to wrestling and continues to wrestle matches today. Lawler explained why he still does it and more. Here is what he had to say:
Well now, I’m so glad you asked that story, because I love to try and set the record straight. And I only get the chance to do it on people that come up to me and ask on a personal note, like at a restaurant or something, ‘How do you feel after the big heart attack.’ Of course now that, you know, that was in like 2012. So that’s been quite a few years ago. And a lot of people just don’t realize what exactly happened. I didn’t have a heart attack. That’s two different things. I didn’t have a heart attack where you have a clogged artery or where you, you know, all of a sudden there’s blood loss to your heart or a blood clot or something that causes an artery blockage. I had a cardiac arrest, which is totally different in the fact a heart attack is, you know, your blood is all of a sudden not flowing to part of your heart, and it’s getting damaged. A cardiac arrest is sort of caused by electrical impulses from your brain that tells your heart to keep beating. Suddenly your heart just stops. And the truth of the matter is, only seven out of 1,000 people survive cardiac arrests, and that’s because usually those seven people have them while they’re in the hospital. Because if you don’t get immediate care from a cardiac arrest, you’re dead. And just fortunately, it happened at ringside and our doctor, Doctor Sampson, was sitting, literally sitting right next to me watching the match as I was. And he started CPR, but my heart once it stopped, it did not beat for 22 minutes. But Doc Sampson and two other paramedics kept giving me CPR for those 22 minutes until they got the paddles, they shocked me seven times and once my heart started back and it was on the right rhythm, thank goodness for the CPR, it was like I suffered no damage to my heart.
The cardiologist told me later that my cardiac arrest was caused by trauma. And what the trauma was, was I had just wrestled a match, me and Randy Orton had just wrestled CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler right before it happened, and Dolph gave me ten elbow drops in the center of the ring. He got me down, he said, ‘ten elbows.’ And I’ll never forget, it’s etched in my brain. After the fifth one, I’m, thinking to myself, ‘Damn, whatever happened to the days that we used to do this and not kill each other?’ I mean, that’s how hard those elbow drops were. And sure enough, the doctor said that that probably caused the trauma, after 10 of those, knocked my heart off rhythm, you know, symmetrically or something, off rhythm. And then it took about 10 minutes for it to just, boom! It seized up and stopped.
But then once it got started back on the same rhythm, my original rhythm, it was like it never happened, thank goodness for the CPR. But when I came to in the hospital, I was in no pain. I’ve never had one minute’s pain since then, and to me, it’s like it never even happened.
You can listen to the clip below:
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