I was a poor kid that grew up with nothing in the roughest parts of Boston. No money, no faith and no hope. My childhood was one full of pain, abuse and darkness… Abandoned by my father at a young age and left with an abusive mother. All I had were my siblings Jimmy, Denise and Cindi. As a young adult, I was always hustling, breaking the law and a real hard ass. I was cocky and with a chip on my shoulder a mile wide. I got in trouble, paid my dues. Got myself straight – I took a chance and started a successful painting business from scratch, with no help from anyone and 100 dollars in my pocket. I got married, had kids of my own. I left my childhood and all the bad memories behind. I was good at leaving things behind, especially things that made me feel bad or reminded me of my childhood. My life was good. I made my life the way it was. The only faith I had was in me, there was no God. God Does Not Exist. I was not a believer. Because how could God stand by and let what had happened to my siblings and I when we were kids happen? How?
Then one stormy July night- Pain, darkness, nothing, I died. Dead, my ticket was punched. For 57 minutes, I was clinically dead. It’s medically unheard of to come back after that long. I am a true fucking miracle in every sense. Everything I thought I knew or believed in was challenged and pushed beyond the limits of what I thought possible. My world completely shifted from what I knew, to what I could never have imagined. I was 48 years old, my life was over, or so it seemed because when I came back, I was literally reborn. Everything changed, my outlook, my faith, everything. To fully understand what happened that night, you need to understand where I came from. What hell I survived.
Joseph “Joey” Hirl has a larger than life personality that you don’t see often. A Boston native, Joey survived an abusive childhood and a brush with the wrong side of the law as a young adult, only to suffer a massive heart attack years after of turning his life around.
Joey had a widow maker heart attack that killed him and he was clinically dead for 57 minutes.
While he was dead, Joey experienced a spiritual miracle that changed his entire outlook on life. From an outlaw biker who did not believe in God or the afterlife, he now has a message from the other side to share with the world.
Joey lives in Western Michigan and is a spokesperson for Spectrum Health’s Cardiac Center where he regularly speaks to medical groups and other heart attack survivors on his experience.