Mark Langston with Houston Police commanders Paul Follis and Daryn Edwards.

On Sept. 20, Los Angeles Angels’ radio analyst Mark Langston collapsed and blacked out in the booth in Houston after introducing the starting lineups, which led to broadcast technician Jorge Sevilla running to look for medics and finding Houston Police commanders Paul Follis and Daryn Edwards in the nearby media dining room. Follis and Edwards quickly gave Langston CPR, and medics then used a defibrillator to shock his heart back into action, but it didn’t restart until three and a half minutes after his collapse, meaning he was clinically dead for that time. Langston spent a week recovering in hospital, but was back at Angels Stadium Sunday for the team’s final game of the year, and he spoke to media about how incredible his survival was.

Here’s more from Maria Torres of The Los Angeles Times:

“I’m not gonna lie. Life is different,” Langston said before his voice broke. “I’m good but it’s different. It’s definitely different. I have to look at it that way. There’s a reason that I was given extra time. I don’t know what it is but there’s a reason for it.”

…“How this whole thing played out in a positive end for me, they can’t explain,” Langston said. “Every doctor I talk to says you are an absolute miracle because this doesn’t happen.”

“Everything has a purpose and reason. I totally trust that. I trust the way things operate. It was not my time. That’s the only thing I can say.”

Langston said there was nothing to suggest he had any heart problems prior to this event (which was eventually classified as ventricular fibrillation), with him focusing on living healthy long after his playing career wrapped up (he was a MLB pitcher from 1985-1999 with the Mariners, Expos, Angels, Padres and Indians). He said the doctors “said I have the heart of a healthy 35-year-old.” But something went very wrong during that game against the Astros, and Langston told Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic the doctors still don’t know what caused it:

“I’ve had literally every test done, and they do not know why this happened,” Langston said. “They have no clue why this happened. There’s usually something that points to why it happened. But they literally had no idea.”

Langston’s heart episode was a frightening one for him and for his friends and colleagues, but he said the doctors told him there shouldn’t be any recurrence. He’s had a defibrillator installed just in case, but his heart otherwise appears healthy. But in this case, he got very lucky that this happened right when there were people who knew CPR around. Langston was able to take Follis and Edwards and their wives out to dinner while he was recovering in Houston, and he told Ardaya the two police officers are now “lifelong friends”:

Meanwhile, Langston returned to the stadium Sunday and wound up appearing on both the Fox Sports West TV broadcast and on his usual radio broadcast. And his colleagues were thrilled to have him back.

This must have been a terrifying moment for Langston and his friends, family and colleagues, but it’s positive to hear that all seems to be going well now.

[The Los Angeles Times; photo from the Houston Police on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.