MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Thousands of people across the Mid-South are wearing a technology that can prevent sudden death. One Memphis man credits it with saving his life.
"I had been told my heart would stop beating while I'm in the bed asleep and it did," Eli Henderson said.
Two months ago, doctors said Eli Henderson died and was brought back to life with the help of breakthrough heart technology.
The American Heart Association recently issued recommendations for the LifeVest, a wearable defibrillator that can prevent sudden cardiac death.
"I'm constantly running out of energy," Henderson said. "One day I can only make three steps and then I just get tired. Couldn't do anything."
Henderson has a family history of heart disease and learned he too was at risk for heart failure.
"Unfortunately, this is more prevalent in the African-American population," Dr. Kishore Arcot said. "Once we recognize they have a weak heart muscle, it also means they are at risk for sudden cardiac death."
Rather than leave him unprotected outside a hospital, Arcot, Henderson's doctor, recommended the LifeVest.
The vest must be worn under the clothes 24/7 and it monitors the heart around the clock.
When Henderson's heart spiked into a dangerous rhythm and stopped beating in his sleep, his LifeVest went to work in less than a minute and saved his life.
"I woke up; I was nervous, hand shaking. I was sweaty," he said.
"This is absolutely lifesaving and there is no human intervention once the patient wears the life vest," Dr. Arcot said. "It does the detection and gives the treatment."
Dr. Arcot said wearing the vest at all times could be a drawback, but the benefits are priceless.
"It not only saves your life, but it gives you the mental peace not only for you, but for your family."