According to ABC, Yahle's wife, a nurse of seven years, called for an ambulance after she woke up and realized his breathing didn't sound right. Unable to wake him up, she and her son performed CPR until paramedics arrived on the scene. After shocking Yahle several times, first responders detected a heartbeat.
In the hospital, doctors were reportedly positive regarding Yahle's condition, saying that his arteries appeared to be clear. Then, later that afternoon, his heart stopped.
For 45 minutes Yahle "coded," a term referring to a medical emergency, and doctors tried to revive him before they agreed that it was too late.
"We looked at each other," Dr. Raja Nazir, Yahle's cardiologist at Kettering Medical Center, said. "We'd given him all the medicine we had in our code cart. At some point, you have to call it off."
According to Jayne Testa, director of cardiovascular services at Kettering, the situation seemed hopeless.
"He was truly flatlined at the end of that code," Testa told NBC News. "He had no motion, no respiration, and no heart beat, and no blood pressure."
It's not clear how long Yahle was "dead," but his revival, according to the family, was preceded by a poignant moment in which his son, Lawrence, entered the room and, pointing a finger at his father, said, "Dad, you're not going to die today." WFAA reports.
According to NBC, the team of doctors detected a trace of electrical activity on Yahle's heart monitor five to seven minutes later.
"Suddenly that trickle of a thing came back," Nazir told ABC. "We were lucky we saw and reacted to it, and that brought him back."
Since then, Nazir says he has been reaching out to colleagues, none of whom, he reports, "have ever really heard of this kind of coming back."
However, Michael Sayre, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Washington, told NBC that several plausible explanations exist, including air getting trapped and pressure building up in the lungs, preventing blood from flowing into the heart.
Regardless of the cause, however, Sayre argues that Yahle's case is evidence that hospitals may do well to extend resuscitation efforts past the typical 20 to 25 minutes.