BELLBROOK, Ohio -- The family of a man who returned to life 45 minutes after being declared dead is calling his medical incident a miracle, and a doctor says he’s never seen -- or even heard -- of anything like it.
Tony Yahle spoke out about his experience for the first time on Tuesday with WHIO's Andy Sedlak at Christ’s Church in Bellbrook.
“Nobody really has an explanation for it... medically anyway,” Yahle said.
On Aug. 5, Yahle’s family found his breathing was off and he had no pulse. Family members performed CPR before Yahle was taken to Kettering Medical Center, where doctors declared him dead after attempts to stimulate his heart.
Suddenly, while nurses were preparing his body to be seen by his family, Yahle showed signs of life.
“Everybody started telling me how it happened. And that’s when I started to understand, you know, a miracle happened,” Yahle said.
Yahle was then flown to OSU Medical Center, where he remained unconscious for five days. Right before he woke up, Yahle’s 17-year-old son, Lawrence, spoke to him.
“I pointed at him and I said, ‘Dad, you're not going to die today.’ I stood there for about a few more seconds. I was about to walk back to comfort the family,” the teen recalled. “It went from hopeless to hope in an instant.”
Yahle’s cardiologist says such an incident is beyond rare.
“In the last twenty years, I’ve never seen anybody who we have pronounced dead -- and actually a patient who we saw there was no activity once we stopped doing all our efforts -- and then for him to come back; I’ve never seen it. Actually, I’ve never heard of it,” Dr. Raja Nazir said.
Nazir says Yahle’s event has been the topic of discussion in several medical circles.
“Since then I’ve really shared this experience with a lot of my colleagues and none of them have ever really heard of this kind of coming back,” Nazir added.
Yahle believes there was only one factor at work -- divine intervention.
“It definitely strengthen my faith, my family’s faith... Everybody I know's faith. And like I said, if it strengthens everybody’s faith then I’ll take the lumps for it,” Yahle said.
Yahle was released from the hospital a little more than a week ago and says he's been feeling "fine."