Man brought back to life: 'It was a miracle'

December 29, 2010 (CHICAGO)

John Chikos defied the odds after he had a massive heart attack. Now, he's sharing the story of his second chance after death.

On December 10, Chikos and his wife Diane drove into Chicago from the suburbs.

"He just all of a sudden pulled the car over to the curb. I think that was Belmont and Wolcott. He leaned over by a wrought iron fence and just collapsed, Diane Chikos told ABC7.

Diane Chikos couldn't get her cell phone to work, but a passerby called 911.

"The paramedics were there in moments, I didn't even have time to say, hurry, hurry," she said.

The paramedics couldn't get his heart re-started. They transported him to Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital where cardiologist Peter Stecy found the main artery to Chikos's heart blocked. He suffered a massive heart attack so dangerous it's often called the 'widow-maker.'

"Unless there is very, very rapid help at hand, they won't survive," said Dr. Stecy.

The team put a stent in to clear the blockage, but Chikos didn't have a pulse for 25 minutes which can cause irreparable damage. Three days later Dr. Stecy saw something he'd never seen in his career.

"Mr. Chikos was sitting up in bed on his laptop trying to trade commodity futures, which he does for a living, when for the past four days the man was comatose," said Dr. Stecy.

"All of a sudden, [they] put you in some procedure and three days later talking to your friends like nothing happened, it was a miracle," Chikos said.

The Chikos family has always been spiritual, but during the agonizing wait they prayed and asked others to pray.

"I think it made believers out of a lot of us that would never would have considered the power of collective praying," said Diane Chikos.

"Miracles can happen through people on earth, and that there are always people along the way that are angels that help us, that helped us call 911, like the paramedics who never gave up," said Allison Chikos.

"It is hard to believe. I don't remember any of it. I'm just very thankful that so many prayers came in," said Chikos.

The Chikos family especially wanted to thank paramedics Marco Flores and Tim Rottman.

With this second chance, Chikos and his family want to learn CPR.

Dr. Stecy says sometimes blockage in arteries can be detected early. He urges healthy adults get regular check up. He says you can feel fine and live with partial blockage, but when the plaque breaks it can be sudden and deadly.

Copyright © 2023 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.