Davie woman recalls waking up after near-death experience

Anne Carlino has complete brain function after being 'found dead'

WESTON, Fla. – An estimated 200,000 Americans report near-death experiences each year, and studies from around the world suggest they are not that uncommon.

A Davie woman shared the story of her own brush with death this week with Local 10 News.

"(The) last thing I remember was I was at work on Tuesday. I said goodbye to the manager, and that was it," Anne Carlino said.

Carlino said she remembers nothing about her near-death experience last July, including driving herself to the Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, where she suddenly collapsed.

"A police officer who happened to be here for other reasons literally sees this woman lying dead in the bushes," Dr. Kenneth Fromkin said.

After close to 20 minutes, emergency room crews got Carlino breathing again, but the saga was far from over.

"She was right on the border of whether we were going to first go to the ICU or take her to the cath lab, because whenever someone is out for more than 15 minutes, they have tremendous brain damage, and taking them to the cath lab is not always the best thing to do. You have to first make sure they're viable," Fromkin said.

Carlino said she didn't see anything like a "white light" or an out-of-body experience. She said she is just grateful to have "made it back."

"Not only did she wake up, but she basically said, 'What am I doing here? What the heck just happened?' And it was like nothing happened," Fromkin said.

Carlino said her heart had stopped suddenly, but doctors were able to clear the blockage.

She said she is doing much better after the ordeal.

"I go to work. I put in 10 hours a day. I'm doing good. I'm doing really good," Carlino said.

Doctors say that the brain can typically survive for about six minutes after the heart stops, which makes Carlino's case even more stunning. With the exception of her memory loss for about a 24-hour period, Carlino has complete brain function.

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