Surviving cardiac arrest: what it's like to come back to life – podcast

When the Guardian’s global environment editor, Jonathan Watts, collapsed during a game of football in a London park last year, he thought he was dying. He felt his body shutting down as medics rushed him to hospital, where he was given emergency defibrillator treatment to shock his heart back to life.

He describes the experience to Anushka Asthana, not in terms of terror but with a sense of calmness and wonder. Now in recovery, he recalls the extraordinary care he received from those who treated him in the midst of a pandemic. Five months on, Watts is philosophical about the episode and its impact on his own life and those who love him. As a newly married man, he resolves to rebalance his priorities and work on what it means to live a good life

Jonathan Watts recovering after his cardiac arrest.

Photograph: PR


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