Doctors bring dance instructor back to life after mid-lesson collapse

THE WOODLANDS, TX (KTRK) -- A ballroom dancing instructor is thanking the medical team who saved his life after he suffered a massive heart attack during a lesson.

William Ashworth, his wife Sherri and son Liam met the medical team at Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital Friday, the first time they have seen each other since his severe heart attack.

"I'm here because of y'all," Ashworth told doctors and nurses. "Plain and simple."

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Ashworth had a 100% blockage in an artery doctors call "the widowmaker." Teams of doctors and nurses rotated in and out of the operating room for three hours, performing CPR and surgeries to keep him alive.

Cardiac and thoracic surgeon Stephen Maniscalco said he and his team are glad to be part of a Ashworth's story.

"This is truly a Christmas miracle kind of story," Maniscalco said. "You could do this a million times and never see this same result, with the amount of CPR and shocks, and we were very fortunate that we were able to take care of him."

Ashworth said the doctors never gave up on him.

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"I had angels on my side," Ashworth said. "That these people could have tried so hard, could have let me die. And they didn't."

Ashworth was released from the hospital last week and said he intends to return to the dance floor once he has recovered fully.
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