An Irishman living in San Diego who "died twice" has released a book chronicling his experiences.

Andrew Fitzgerald's book "How did I get here? Traveling the Road to Resilience" documents the lessons the Cork native has learned from health crises, emigrating to the United States, and the experience he has gained in the business sector. 

The book also documents the heartache of suffering four miscarriages with his wife Jane before his son Alfie was born.

Released on February 15, Fitzgerald's book charts how he was resuscitated after his heart stopped on two separate occasions and aims to inspire others "for what life has in store". 

In the excerpt below, Fitzgerald introduces his fascinating story and discusses his journey of resilience. 

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Hi, I’m Andrew Fitzgerald, and I died twice. Everyone dies, although not everyone truly lives. I flatlined twice and was brought back to life to follow my ambitions and embark on a journey of resilience. Yes, I died twice, yet I’ve lived a full life.

How Did I Get Here? Traveling the Road to Resilience follows my life from growing up in Ireland to immigrating to the United States and the trials and triumphs along the way—the failures and successes in business, the fear and excitement of a new country, the grief and loss through miscarriage, and the eventual birth of my son. I’ve divided this book into four parts which focus on the most significant events in my life, and as such are not necessarily in chronological order. However, as the story unfolds, you’ll notice how it all fits together.

The book you’re about to read recounts how I overcame fears and obstacles to realize my goals. I believe anyone who has tried, failed, and tried again and succeeded or has overcome loss and sorrow, will gain useful insights. My story shows how you can prevail over adversity using key lessons—both personal and professional—that have both helped and hindered me, yet ultimately served me well.

If you’ve had tough times, you’ll get value out of this book. If you’re in the middle of some challenge, you’ll get insights. If you feel stuck or need to make a change, this book will inspire you. 

I’ve heard that the journey is as important as the destination. I used to think the destination was all that mattered, yet it wasn’t until I realized that the journey—filled with highs and lows—is often more fulfilling than the destination. So travel with me to learn how I overcame the various obstacles in my life, how I thrived, and how I traveled the road to resilience.

I’ve achieved so much in my corporate life and my sporting life, and yes, the journey has been more important than the destination. If you have dreams, yet have had to overcome obstacles, or you’re looking for a view into the workings of the corporate world, this book will accompany you as your story unfolds.

My aim is for you to be inspired and encouraged, so you’ll be better prepared for what life has in store for you. Ultimately, this book will help you learn to trust yourself and develop the key trait of resilience. Resilience is for everyone. Are you ready?

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Chapter One - Last Rites

The odors of antiseptic and disinfectant linger in the air, that omnipresent smell that can only be associated with hospitals. As I lie there on a hospital trolley staring at the ceiling, I ask myself, “How did I get here?” 

The orderly pushing me swerves the trolley as we make our way down the corridor. The bright fluorescent lights flash in and out of my eyesight like the on/off of a light switch. A doctor and nurse are with me, and I can feel someone holding my hand but can’t make out who it is. The trolley stops as we wait for the lift to open. I can’t really process what’s about to happen. 

The hospital is eerily quiet this evening. The lift pings and the doors open. Once inside, I catch sight of the person holding my hand. I recognize the black and white clothing. It’s an elderly nun with rosary beads in one hand and my hand in her other, held tightly. She flashes an approving smile at me and says, “Everything will be okay.” The lift doors close and we begin to ascend. The next words she utters will forever stay with me:

“Through this holy anointing, may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit. May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.”

Wow! Am I being given last rites? I can’t believe this. I’m only nineteen years old and have so much more life to live. I don’t want to die, please God, don’t let me die.

The trolley moves out of the lift, and now there are six or maybe seven people around me. I’m here because my heart was beating way too rapidly. The doctor explains that to bring my heartbeat down, he’s going to stop my heart and start it again. He says this is the only course of action, the right course of action. 

I trust the medical advice, yet I don’t comprehend the severity of it. I hear what he’s saying and try to hold onto positive thoughts. However, at nineteen my overriding emotions are fear, worry, and confusion. I have a difficult time processing what’s about to happen.

My eyes are moving rapidly around the room, my senses amplified to the various sounds and conversations. The anesthesiologist places a mask on my face to administer gas to put me to sleep. As I close my eyes and take a deep breath, I lose consciousness. The medical team administers the defibrillation that sends an electric pulse to my heart to shock it into not beating. 

I have now flatlined. I am dead. The next electric pulse is to shock my heart into restarting, which thankfully it does. I am alive again. I wake up in the intensive care unit and cry tears of happiness that I survived. What just happened?

Andrew Fitzgerald is a native of Ireland and now resides in Oceanside, California. He’s the author of How Did I Get Here? As a global beverage brand builder, Andrew has launched, managed, and scaled some of the world’s biggest alcohol brands through his unique approach with retailers, distributors, and sales teams. Additionally, he’s an expert in negotiation and coaching sales teams in the corporate world.

Click here to order a copy of his new book.