‘I died 3 times:’ Ga. country music star Colt Ford talks about near-fatal heart attack

Colt Ford

ATLANTA — Country music star and Athens native Colt Ford said he flatlined at least three times on his way to the hospital following a near-fatal heart attack.

He had just wrapped up a show earlier this month at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row in Gilbert, Arizona.

Ford said he doesn’t even remember the performance.

“I walked back to the bus and text my fiancé, ‘Hi baby,’ and fell over dead,” Ford told the Big D and Bubba Show, a nationally syndicated radio show. Ford said his band members came out and found him. On the way to the hospital, Ford said he ‘died three times.”

“It’s been just a crazy, traumatic experience,” Ford said.

He credits his good friend Brantley Gilbert with making sure he got the care he needed. When finding out the first hospital Ford was taken to didn’t have the equipment needed, Ford said Gilbert told the doctors, “I don’t care what you got to do, get him to the other hospital, ASAP.”


Ford said he needed an ECMO machine, which pumps blood “outside of your body to a heart-lung machine that removes carbon dioxide and sends oxygen-filled blood back to tissues in the body,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “This method allows the blood to ‘bypass’ the heart and lungs, allowing these organs to rest and heal.”

“I had so much trauma in my body and my heart, I had to have three stents put in,” Ford said.

Ford has canceled the rest of his tour as he continues to recover. He said he thanked God for still being here and has been in the middle of finishing a new album.

“The Lord had more for me to do,” Ford said. “I have more music to make and hopefully more differences to make in people’s lives.”

Ford is known among the country music world for his mix of country and rap. He’s had several No. 1 hits along with “five consecutive Top 10 debuts on the Billboard Top Country Albums Chart with Declaration of Independence bowing at #1 in 2012.”

Ford has done collaborations “with everyone from Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, and Jermaine Dupri to members of No Doubt, Lit, and Lady Antebellum. Additionally, he co-wrote Jason Aldean’s #1 hit ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ and Brantley Gilbert’s #1 hit ‘Country Must Be Country Wide’ as a behind-the-scenes force in the studio,” according to his website.


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