For 20 minutes, Michael Pruitt was dead. And then he wasn't.
The 20-year-old had been helping his stepdad on a job site in Livonia, Michigan, in April when he was electrocuted.
“I was moving a ladder. I went and leaned back, electricity just shot from the power line and hit the ladder and it literally just electrocuted me,” Pruitt told InsideEdition.com. “I just blacked out.”
His heart immediately stopped beating. The owner of the home where Pruitt was working called 911 and began CPR on Pruitt, to no avail. He was then rushed to the emergency room at Beaumont Hospital.
“They could not get his heart to beat until he got to the hospital,” said Keith Jacobs, Pruitt’s stepfather. “He was down for like 25 minutes at least with no heartbeat."
At the hospital, doctors shocked Pruitt's heart with a defibrillator. The first time, nothing happened. But they persisted.
“They brought in this perfect young man who had no vital signs. I said to my team, ‘We’re bringing him back.’ And then, I said to him, ‘You better come back!’” Dr. Angel Chudler, who worked on Pruitt, said in a press release.
Jacobs said he was a “wreck” as doctors fought for Pruitt’s life. Brain cells can start to die after just five minutes with no oxygen, resulting in permanent brain damage.
On the second try, using a stronger shock, Pruitt's heart began beating again.
Miraculously, he suffered no brain damage.
“I woke up in the hospital like days later and I was like, ‘What's going on? Where am I?’” Pruitt said. “It was so funny because it was my girlfriend and my mom sitting there. They were just so happy to see me there and they're crying and I was confused.”
Pruitt was flabbergasted to hear what had happened to him. He had no recollection after the shock. His toes were a “little burned” from the accident, he said, but they are healing nicely now. Other than that, he’s fine.
“Recovery was like almost instant,” he added.
He’s gotten a good joke out of his experience. Since he wears his hair spiked, when people ask if it spikes naturally, he simply replies, “It’s because I was electrocuted.”