Brooklyn's Joe Tiralosi doesn't remember much about that day in August when he went to New York Presbyterian Hospital feeling sick and disoriented, then collapsed. But last week the 56-year-old father of two visited the hospital to thank doctors for not giving up on him just because his heart stopped beating for 47 minutes after a sudden cardiac arrest. All told, it took 4,500 chest compressions and eight shocks from a defibrillator to bring him back from the brink. Doctors are calling it a medical miracle, but Tiralosi's also lucky the E.R. he visited happened to have some special equipment.

Doctors used special cooling pads, not found in every E.R., to lower his body temperature to 91 degrees, enabling them to prevent long-term neurological damage and preserve brain function. His physicians say only one out of four people survive sudden cardiac arrest, and 30 percent of those who do survive suffer serious brain damage. Tiralosi was put in a medically-induced coma after his heart started and awoke three days later with no brain damage.

Asked if there was any point during those 47 minutes when the medical team almost gave up, Dr. Flavio Gaudio tells CBS2, "There were whispers of that but I imagined that he was a man with a family, with a family someplace and I didn't want to go out and tell that family that we had lost him. I had to keep going... It's a miracle for which it is difficult to find words"

Tiralosi is currently in cardiac rehab and hopes to soon get back to his life as a family man and professional chauffeur. Below, the Beastie Boys' performance of "Heart Attack Man" on Saturday Night Live.