Bob Odenkirk revealed on Sirus XM's The Howard Stern Show Monday that his heart attack last July on the New Mexico set of Better Call Saul was more serious than had been reported.
"I would have been dead," the Emmy-winning actor and writer admitted. "CPR saved my life."
Odenkirk, 59, said were it not for the good physical shape he was in from the hit action film Nobody, as well as the swift action of the cast and crew of his AMC show, the outcome would have been much different. He explained that co-stars Rhea Seehorn and Patrick Fabian realized something was wrong and "raced to my side...Because I guess I turned grey right away, and stopped breathing, and they started yelling..."
The actor recalled it was the on-site medical expert, Rosa -- who was there mainly to enforce COVID-19 protocols -- who started CPR on him right away. After 12 minutes, she had someone take over while she ran to her car to get her own defibrillator, as the set didn't have one.
"When the defibrillator doesn't work once, that's not good," the actor explained. "When it doesn't work the second time, that is kind of like -- forget it. But then they jacked it up a third time, and it got me back to a rhythm."
He added, "Because I was in good shape, you kind of enlarge other veins around your heart...And I was told that more blood was able to go to my heart during CPR because these veins were just a little bit bigger from a lot of working out."
After undergoing an operation to unclog an artery, Odenkirk says his recovery also was helped by the physical shape he was in.
"Take CPR classes," Odenkirk added, "because you can save lives."