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Bob Harper completes cardiac rehab four months after near-fatal heart attack

by Joyce Chen / / Source: TODAY

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Bob Harper just reached a major milestone a little over four months after he suffered a terrifying, near-fatal heart attack, and the "Biggest Loser" trainer is feeling thankful.

“Yesterday was a BIG DAY in my recovery from my heart attack,” he captioned a post to Instagram on Thursday. “I finished my cardiac rehab. It has been super important to me and also HUMBLING. All the support that I've been getting from all my IG friends helped me when it was tough so THANK YOU for all the love and support.”

The image shows a heart drawn in red chalk, with the words “Rehab” and “36/36” scrawled inside.

Back in February, Harper, 51, was working out at a gym with a few friends when he suddenly dropped to his knees, fell to the floor and stopped breathing.

“I was in full cardiac arrest,” the fitness trainer told Savannah Guthrie in an interview with TODAY in April. “My heart stopped. Not to be dramatic, but I was dead. I was on that ground dead.”

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Luckily for Harper, two doctors who were in the gym at the time were able to perform CPR and administer a defibrillator before paramedics arrived to take him to the hospital.

“It was super scary for me because I woke up and I was so confused,” he said. “I was like Dory from 'Finding Nemo' because I had this short-term memory, so I was reliving the heart attack over and over again.”

Harper later discovered that he had suffered from the sudden cardiac arrest because he had high levels of a particle in his blood known as lipoprotein(a), a condition that is hereditary. (Harper’s mother died of a heart attack.)

He told Savannah that it was "hugely shocking" to him that he'd suffered a heart attack.

“I’ve learned a lot about myself,” he added. “I’ve learned a lot about the fact that genetics played a part in this. It is so important to know your health.”

Harper was in a medically induced coma for two days after being admitted to the hospital, and had two stents placed to keep his coronary arteries open and to reduce the risk of a future heart attack.

In the weeks and months following, Harper documented his progress on social media as he slowly worked his way back to wellness.

"It's been hard,” he told Savannah. "I'm going through some depression. You really face your mortality. And I'm really understanding what's important in life."

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