On the mend. Nearly one year after suffering a heart attack, Bob Harper is opening up about his near fatal health scare with Us Weekly and how he has been “redefining what my body is supposed to look like and feel like.” Watch the video above.
While in the middle of a workout with friends on Sunday, February 12, 2017, Harper, 52, passed out and, as he describes in his new book The Super Carb Diet, he was in asystole, “which basically means I flatlined.” Luckily, there was a doctor and an AED (Automated External Defibrillator), which gives electric current to the heart, at the gym “because if I would’ve been in my apartment by myself or even with someone there, I probably wouldn’t have made it.”
“The last thing I remember was the night before, being with my friends, early dinner down in the Village, and we were talking about how we were going to meet for this early morning workout,” Harper recalled to Us. “And then the next thing I knew, I woke up two days later in the hospital being told that I had a heart attack.”
The former Biggest Loser coach admits to being “confused” about his incident considering he was in top physical shape.
“Still to this day, it really amazes me in the weirdest possible way. When I woke up in the hospital and I was surrounded by my friends and family from Tennessee and from L.A., they told me I had a heart attack,” Harper told Us. “I was like, “Did you get the story right?’ There’s no way I had a heart attack. I had what was called a ‘widow maker.’ The kind of heart attack I had was just like, boom. Lights out.”
Only six to 10 percent of people survive a widow maker heart attack, which Harper said was caused primarily by a genetic condition. Harper credits the incident as changing his perspective on life and is reaching out to others in similar situations. The fitness coach has launched Survivors Have Heart, a program for heart attack survivors, and is “putting carbs back on your plate” with his book The Super Carb Diet.
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“I don’t want to say 100 percent. I mean, I would like to say that, but I definitely take things a little easier. Harper told Us. “The gym is where I go to relieve my stress. It’s my happy place. It’s my safe place. It’s my social place. And I had my heart attack in that exact place, so after that I then had to kind of figure out who I was again, because in many ways, fitness really defined me. And that was taken away from me, so that was a very big identity crisis that I went through.”