Watch “Cheating Death” on CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta [VIDEO]

CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta reports on a referee who falls “dead” on a football field but lives to tell about it. Consult your local TV listings to watch the entire “Cheating Death” broadcast on CNN.  “Cheating Death,” Sat. & Sun. 8 p.m. ET


Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “It was right here, September 14, 2002, about a minute into the third quarter, and Bob Schriever, the referee, was suddenly down. The fans, the players, the television audience, were about to be in for a shocking site.”

TV announcer: “Oh my goodness! A referee has just collapsed on the field!

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “For 65-year-old Bob Schriever that video is sometimes still difficult to watch. [To Mr. Schriever] And you’re suddenly down…”

Bob Schriever: “I’m down. I’m dead. Yeah.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “What did you experience? Did you have pain?”

Bob Schriever: “No. Nothing.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “Schriever was in cardiac arrest on this very field during a high school football game. A team trainer armed with the school’s brand new AED, or automated external defibrillator, shocked him back to life.”

Bob Schriever: “That’s scary.”

Bob-Schriever-Cardiac-ArrestDr. Sanjay Gupta: “Schriever was choking up as he showed me the video that day. And then he started to talk about what he remembered. [To Mr. Schriever] What were you experiencing when everyone was seeing this (points to screen)?

Bob Schriever: “It’s, it’s, um, very peaceful…it’s very serene…and it’s extremely, extremely bright. I mean, it is bright! And, I was, I saw a place that, uh, I was supposed to go, I saw that halo, and something was saying, I go towards that halo. ”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “He says he was dead for two minutes and forty seconds. (Back on field) So this is, ah, the first time Bob’s been back here, he, ah, just visited the place he had his sudden cardiac arrest for the first time since it happened. He’s gonna toss the coin, something he hasn’t done in a while.”

Bob Schriever: “What are you calling? You guys called ‘tails.’ It’s a ‘heads.’ (To the other team) You won the toss. Your choice.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “But what happened on this field still haunts him. (To Mr. Schriever) How often do you think about it?”

Bob Schriever: “I think about that every morning when I wake up, first thing, during the day I don’t know how many times, every night before I fall asleep.”

Dr. Sanjay Gupta: (Holding a Powerheart AED from Cardiac Science) “You know, I think a lot of people have probably heard about automated external defibrillators, AEDs, or those little ‘shock things,’ John and Karen.


Watch “Cheating Death” featuring Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN

Now, but, they’re everywhere, they’re in your building, for example, on every floor, and they are so simple to use.

You literally open up the box like this and it immediately starts having instructions – voice instructions – as to what exactly to do, starting off with calling 911 first, exactly where to place the pads….

The pads actually measure the heart rhythm. And if it needs a shock, if the hearts needs a shock it goes ahead and delivers it.

They are very easy to use and, obviously, in the case of Bob Schriever, this thing clearly saved his life. He was down, he was in cardiac arrest, his heart wasn’t working, and a defibrillator brought him back.

It’s happening all over the country and all over the world and hopefully a lot of you out there watching will educate yourselves as well. John and Karen, back to you.