Eric van Die


Eric survived five cardiac arrests in one day


Five times in one day he got a cardiac arrest. Thanks to quick acting of his wife and his doctor, the then 45-year-old Eric van Die survived. He knows how important it is that people start CPR quickly. To HeartsafeLiving he tells his story.

Agonal gasps

On the way to my own company, I did not feel good. It felt as if a huge adrenaline rush went through my whole body, like sort of panic attack. I lay in bed to recover a little, when my wife saw me be completely gray. She called the doctor, who came immediately. Just as he arrived, I passed out and I began to ‘gasp’. The doctor recognized the cardiac arrest, laid me on the ground and began CPR.

Five cardiac arrests

Because of defibrillation by ambulance paramedics my heart rhythm restored. But then I got yet another cardiac arrest. And once in the ambulance a third. In the hospital it showed that my coronary artery was blocked so that the blood supply was cut off. I then had angioplasty and a stent was placed. In total, I got five times a cardiac arrest that day.

Almost dead

If my wife would have brought the children to school that morning, she couldn’t call the doctor. I wouldn’t have been there anymore. That is such an unreal idea. At one moment nothing is wrong and at the other moment you’re almost dead. I never had problems with my heart and cardiovascular diseases didn’t run in my family. Together with my wife, two daughters and son, I celebrate the day that I survived every year.

Resuscitation training

I am very pleased that the people around me acted so decisively. I would like to give that back to others. That’s why I joined HeartsafeLiving. I had to learn how to perform CPR, so I took a resuscitation training. Secretely, I was a little afraid. For a long time I couldn’t stand the sound of an ambulance, the sound of a ‘flatline’ or the sound of charging an AED. That is strange: I never heard those sounds, because I was unconscious. Yet it hit me tremendously. However, since the time that I was on the training and started the AED, my fear was gone. It’s a good idea that I can help someone if the need arises.