Bob Odenkirk Reveals How Serious His On-Set Heart Attack Really Was

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Bob Odenkirk
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Bob Odenkirk is sharing how scary his on-set heart attack really was, and the role his Better Call Saul co-stars played in saving his life.

On July 27, the celebrated actor was rushed to the hospital after collapsing on the New Mexico set of his acclaimed drama series. Now, speaking with The New York Times, Odenkirk, 59. opened up about the details of his life-threatening medical emergency.

"We were shooting a scene, we'd been shooting all day, and luckily I didn't go back to my trailer," Odenkirk shared in an interview published on Wednesday. Instead, he went to an area near some of his co-workers, and that decision likely made the difference between life and death.

"I went to play the Cubs game and ride my workout bike, and I just went down," Odenkirk said, adding that his co-star, Rhea Seehorn, came to his aid and later told him that he "started turning bluish-gray right away."

Seehorn and co-star Patrick Fabian called for help immediately after Odenkirk fell, and the on-set health safety supervisor and one the assistant directors began performing CPR after calling for medics.

They were also required to use an automated defibrillator to correct his pulse, and it took three total shocks to do the trick. "The third time, it got me that rhythm back," Odenkirk recalled.

According to the star, despite staying fit and healthy, he was aware of an ongoing heart concern for several years, explaining, "I'd known since 2018 that I had this plaque buildup in my heart."

Different doctors had given him different types of advice on how to treat it, and Odenkirk decided to employ a wait-and-see option before pursuing a course of treatment that would include starting on a medication regimen.

"One of those pieces of plaque broke up," said Odenkirk, explaining what led to the heart attack. Then, when he got to the hospital, doctors had to access his heart through wrist veins, where they "blew up the little balloons and knocked out that plaque and left stents in two places."

Odenkirk's heart attack left many fans shocked and worried. The actor spent nearly two weeks in the hospital, and finally broke his silence in August to assure fans that he would be OK.

"I am doing great," he tweeted at the time. "I’ve had my very own 'It’s a wonderful life' week of people insisting I make the world slightly better. Wow! Thank you, I love everyone right now but let’s keep expectations reasonable!"

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