VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - A North Florida man was thankful to be alive Monday after being dead for more than 10 minutes...and doctors at SGMC are now calling him the "Miracle Man."
Lee Goff had what doctors call a "widow maker" heart attack in the ER at SGMC. Monday, Goff shared his story in hopes of helping prevent others from suffering the same fate.
"It's called a Zoll Life Vest," said Goff, as he explained the medical vest he was wearing under his shirt.
Goff, 27, had to wear the special vest for the next 45 to 60 days as of Monday. It acts as a defibrillator that automatically shocks him up to five times if his heart starts beating at an abnormal rate.
On March 14th, Goff went to the ER at South Georgia Medical Center when he felt pain in his chest after picking up his daughter from a birthday party.
"It just felt weird. Like, somethin' in my head said 'probably better go to the hospital,'" recalled Goff.
A decision that likely saved his life. "I walked in to the ER. Made it to the sign in, and my sister was goin' to park my car...I fell back and hit my head on the floor and the nurses had to run in and start resuscitatin' me right there," Goff said.
Goff was dead for 11 minutes before the nurses finally revived him.
"There are certain hereditary type of heart disease, including coronary artery disease, which can occur at much younger stages in life," said Dr. William Luke, an interventional cardiologist at SGMC.
Goff said he was totally surprised when doctors told him that his heart problems were hereditary. So, Monday he had a message for others.
"I would say get checked. For sure," Goff emphasized.
But as scary as the heart attack itself was, Goff says the thought of never seeing his five year-old daughter again is what has truly motivated him to start doing everything he can to make sure this heart-stopping experience doesn't happen again.
"My daughter is my world. She means everything to me."
Goff's family has set up a GoFundMe account to help him pay for his medical bills. If you would like to donate to the fund, click here.