Return from the Dead

"Sudden death" wasn't a life sentence for one North County man.

Mike Connolly is alive and looking forward to celebrating Saint Patrick's Day. It's a a big deal considering Connolly, 51, suffered what doctors call sudden death.

Connolly had a cardiac arrhythmia on the last day of January. His wife, Loris, found him slumped over, without a pulse.    

An ambulance rushed Connolly to Tri-City Medical Center in Vista, where he was brought back to life but was in a coma. A short time after family was told to start thinking about removing him from life support, his stepson was reading scriptures to him, when, incredibly, he started to wake up!

Four days after he went into the coma, he was awake and most definitely alive.

Dr Martin Nielsen credits a little-used procedure called mild hypothermia, which cools the body, for saving Connolly. Nielsen said it is not a new procedure but only 20 to 30 percent of hospitals use it.

Neilson hopes that Connolly's story will send the message that the procedure can make a difference. 

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