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'Miracle Man' survives 7 hours in Tampa heat, fire ants after collapsing in parking lot

He was also covered in fire ants
Posted: 8:00 PM, Oct 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-10-08 15:41:58-04
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TAMPA, Fla. — Doctors are calling him the Miracle Man.

Clifford Rice, 49, defied the odds after spending seven hours lying unresponsive in a parking lot.

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His organs were shutting down after he collapsed, while searching for his car after a concert in Tampa.

“The last thing I remember is the ants coming for me," Rice said.

Fire ants were covering Rice's face.

"A lot of them," Rice said.

Exhausted from the heat, Rice had a seizure in a parking lot across from Raymond James Stadium while trying to find his car after working as an usher at the Tim McGraw concert in September.

Rice tried calling for help, but dropped his cellphone, and ended up stuck under a random vehicle.

"[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 said.

That was the last thing Rice said he remembered before waking up at St. Joseph's hospital more than a week later, nearly 60 pounds lighter and partially blind out of his left eye.

"I wasn't supposed to be alive. They had never seen anything like it before and, you know, I barely had any life left in me when I got [to the hospital]," Rice said.

Rice, who had no health issues before the incident, said his kidneys were shutting down and he was extremely dehydrated, and he could not breathe on his own after trying to find his car on his own.

"I definitely should've did it a different way," Rice said. "That New York pride, man. It's just like, I don't need no help. I can do this on my own."

But, Rice was grateful, in the end, someone was there to find him after nearly seven hours.

"I'm fortunate. Very fortunate," Rice said.