(TAMPA, Fla.) — A Florida man miraculously survived after he collapsed in extreme heat and was lying unconscious for seven hours with fire ants crawling over his face.
Clifford Rice, 49, had just finished his shift as a security guard for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ opening game on Sept. 9 when he had a seizure in the parking lot and fell between two parked cars, according to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he was treated.
Rice was not discovered until more than seven hours later and rushed to the Tampa hospital.
The last thing he remembered before blacking out was fire ants covering his face.
“A lot of them … [the ants] were just coming in a line like, ‘Hey, man, come get some meat.’ I was like, ‘Wow, OK, this is a bad way to go out,’” Rice told ABC Tampa affiliate WFTS-TV.
The hospital said when he arrived he was not able to breathe on his own, was dangerously dehydrated and suffered from organ failure and extensive physical injures.
“His chance of survival was very low,” the hospital said on Facebook.
By the time he woke up a week after he was admitted, he was about 60 pounds lighter and partially blind out of his left eye.
But despite the harrowing ordeal, Rice recovered in the hospital for about two weeks and was released on Sept. 25.
“I wasn’t supposed to be alive. They had never seen anything like it before,” Rice told WFTS.
Rice did not immediately respond to ABC News.
The hospital said he “defied the odds” and called him the “miracle man.”
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