Jon North Has Defibrillator Implanted, Is Recovering After Successful Surgery

Last week, weightlifter and bodybuilder Jon North went into cardiac arrest and was rushed to the hospital. A few days later, his wife — Jessica Lee North — announced  on Facebook that Jon would undergo surgery to have a defibrillator installed permanently.

On Monday, North underwent surgery, and shortly after Lee North posted an update on her husband’s condition.

Update: Jon is out of surgery. The operation was successful and now he is recovering. Thank you to everyone that has sent well wishes and prayers. Jon’s doctors have been incredible, and we are so thankful that he has been blessed with such great care. A huge worry has been lifted now that we know the surgery was a success, and also that he has insurance of the device to shock his heart if this ever happens again. In a way, we are so grateful, because his heart was a ticking time bomb. If this had happened anywhere else, or if he had been alone, he would be dead. Thank God it happened at the zoo and I was able to scream for help and a nurse just so happened to be at the zoo nearby, and came running to do CPR until the paramedics came and were able to shock him. Also, Jon is young and he was able to get a new type of defibrillator that is much more advanced and has less risks. Overall, this traumatic and tragic experience has been a true wake up call to love life, cherish everyone in it, and that God wants Jon living, loving, and continuing to inspire as many people as possible.

North, 30, is the 2011 USA Weightlifting National Champion and a multi-time Pan American team member. In recent years, he has taken up bodybuilding while continuing to teach weightlifting seminars and release his first book, The Dark Orchestra.

Featured image: @attitudenation on Instagram

David Tao

David Tao

BarBend's Co-Founder and Editorial Director, David is a veteran of the health & fitness industry, with nearly a decade of experience building and running editorial teams in the space. He also serves as a color commentator for both National and International weightlifting competitions, many through USA Weightlifting.

David graduated from Harvard University and served for several years as Editorial Director/Chief Content Officer of In addition to his work in the health & fitness industry, David has been a writer for Fortune and, as well as a contributor to, Slate, and numerous other outlets across the web and in print. He's especially passionate about the intersection of strength sports and quality, professional media coverage — overlapping interests shared by the BarBend editorial team and which drive their content strategy each and every day.

David is a proud Kentucky native. In his free time, David is a voiceover actor and can be heard in animated films, independent shorts, music videos, commercials, and podcasts.

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