How Actor Bob Odenkirk Survived a Heart Attack on the Set of Better Call Saul

Bob Odenkirk, 59, is sharing his gratitude for his cast and crew, who helped save his life when he had a heart attack on set back in July.

After finishing up a scene for Better Call Saul’s sixth and final season, Odenkirk suddenly collapsed. Those who were there on set helped him recall what happened. 

“We were shooting a scene, we’d been shooting all day, and luckily I didn’t go back to my trailer,” he told The New York Times in a new interview.

He then moved to a space just off the set to be with his costars, Rhea Seehorn and Patrick Fabian.

“I went to play the Cubs game and ride my workout bike, and I just went down,” he explains. “Rhea said I started turning bluish-gray right away.”

Odenkirk says that he’s known he has plaque buildup in his heart since 2018, but was given mixed advice on how to proceed. 

“I went to two heart doctors at Cedars-Sinai, and I had dye and an M.R.I. and all that stuff, and the doctors disagreed [on a treatment plan,]” he says.

One doctor told him that he should start medication right away, while another told him to wait, which is the option Odenkirk went with.

Odenkirk says “one of those pieces of plaque broke up,” causing the heart attack. His costars, Seehorn and Fabian, called for help. The set health safety supervisor, Rosa Estrada, and an assistant director, Angie Meyer, gave Odenkirk CPR and shocked him with an automated defibrillator.

They gave him two shocks, which weren’t enough to bring his pulse back. It was the third shock that “got me that rhythm back,” Odenkirk says, adding that doctors at a hospital in Albuquerque “blew up the little balloons and knocked out that plaque and left stents in two places.”

Odenkirk doesn’t remember anything from the episode. He  had to put the pieces together through his cast and crew who witnessed the ordeal.

“That’s its own weirdness,” Seehorn told the New York Times of Odenkirk’s episode. “You didn’t have a near-death experience — you’re told you had one.”

Odenkirk spent a week recovering in the hospital, and says he is feeling good again. The actor is now easily hiking near Better Call Saul‘s set. 

After concern from family and friends, Odenkirk shared a ‘thank you’ tweet back in August.

“I am doing great,” he tweeted. “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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