By Mark Ellis
Truck driver Brian Miller,41, was delivering metal to a warehouse in Streetsboro, Ohio, when he felt a sudden tightness in his chest.
At first he thought the tightness might be due to a frigid blast from the polar vortex or even asthma, but as the pain sharply intensified, he dialed 9-1-1. “I’m a truck driver and I think I’m having a heart attack,” he told the dispatcher.
Paramedics brought him to University Hospitals’ Ahuja Medical Center, where doctors discovered a complete blockage of his main artery, a condition sometimes nicknamed the ‘widow maker’ due to its often-fatal results. Former NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert died suddenly from a similar blockage.
After Dr. William Wolf performed emergency surgery to clear the blockage, Miller seemed to be recovering. He was sitting up in bed, talking, and in good spirits, but then his heart careened into ventricular fibrillation – or V-fib – an acute medical emergency.
“His heart was quivering in there; it wasn’t able to pump,” ICU nurse Emily Bishop told Fox8 News in Cleveland. She frantically called “Code Blue” for CPR and a half-dozen doctors and nurses rushed in to see if they could restore Miller’s heart.
If a V-fib continues for more than a few seconds, it often moves into a “flatline” condition in such situations, with cardiogenic shock and complete loss of blood flow. Sudden death usually results in mere moments.
They knew that if Miller was not revived within about five minutes, he could sustain irreversible brain damage and possibly become brain dead.
Despite their heroic efforts, Miller began to slip away. “He had no heart rate. He had no blood pressure. He had no pulse; his brain had no oxygen for 45 minutes,” Bishop recounted. “We shocked him four times and it still didn’t work.”
When his heart stopped, Miller entered another dimension of reality. “I started to see a light and I started walking toward the light,” Miller told News8.
Then his eyes beheld a wondrous sight. “It opened into a most beautiful path with flowers.
His mother-in-law, Kay, who had passed away from cancer only 10 days prior to his health emergency, greeted Miller. “She was the most beautiful thing when I saw her, just like the day I first met her,” he recounted. “She looked so happy.”
Then she grabbed his arm. “It’s not your time. You don’t need to be here,” she told him. “We need to take you back. You have things to do at home.”
Her husband, Jack, stood nearby. He waved and gave Miller a smile. Then Miller’s soul returned to his body.
After 45 minutes, Miller’s pulse and normal heart function returned – something inexplicable to the medical
professionals around him. “Think about it. His brain had no oxygen for 45 minutes,” nurse Bishop marveled. “So the fact that he’s up walking, talking, and laughing is amazing,” she told News8.
“When he first woke up he said he had seen my dad and mom, and he had seen the light. He was talking real shallow from all the medical equipment they had on him,” Miller’s wife, Roberta, told Fox News. She and Brian have three daughters.
Miller later told Fox News he always believed in “the Lord” and the afterlife. “I went to church a lot when I was growing up,” he recalled. “And after I got married I didn’t hardly go to church.”
Now he considers his mother-in-law his guardian angel. Before she passed away, she gave him a guardian angel figure for his truck, which says, “don’t ever drive faster than your guardian angel can fly.”
“I kiss it every day when I am driving my truck,” he noted.
“There is an afterlife and people need to believe in it.”
Do you want to know God personally? Here are four steps…