Chuck Norris stared death in the face — and was zapped back to life twice within minutes, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively!
An insider close to the scary situation reveals to Radar the 77-year-old martial arts legend suffered two massive heart attacks in mid-July and endured a frantic 240-mile dash by ambulance and helicopter to get medical help that saved his life.
“This would have easily killed most men half his age, but Chuck is still at the peak of physical fitness,” Radar's informant dished.
The terrifying ordeal began after the beloved martial arts king made an appearance at the United Fighting Arts Federation’s World Championships in Las Vegas on July 16.
After the event, Chuck, his wife, Gena O’Kelley, and other family members broke up their nine-hour drive home to Chester, Calif., by stopping at the Tonopah Station Hotel and Casino in a remote area of Nevada on July 17.
“Chuck’s wife checked the group into the hotel around 1:30 in the morning,” an employee at the hotel’s front desk told Radar. “He was on the casino floor a little while, and then went to his room.”
Around 5:30 a.m., Chuck collapsed with chest pains while taking a shower!
As shocked hotel guests watched, emergency responders rushed the ailing actor through the casino on a stretcher and into a waiting ambulance. But Chuck stopped breathing during a tense 100-mile, high-speed race to Mt. Grant General Hospital in Hawthorne, Nev.
Medics jump-started his heart with a defibrillator, while his tearful wife helplessly looked on, sources said.
After arriving at the hospital, the karate king suffered a second heart attack! Medical personnel stabilized him once again, and Chuck was flown to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno on a trauma chopper, an eyewitness said.
“It was touch and go. I was told his wife was allowed to ride in the med flight with him,” another source revealed. “Everything happened so fast that it felt like he died twice in 47 minutes! There was so much hysteria it’s impossible to know how long the ordeal lasted. People were watching the heart monitor — not the clock!”
But true to his image as a superhuman action hero, Chuck — who starred with Bruce Lee in the 1972 classic Way of the Dragon — bounced back quickly and was released from the hospital within days.
The source added: “Chuck trains all the time and knows he has to take great care of his body. He’s slowed down a bit, but considers this just a blip.”
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