During last year’s Dallas Marathon relay, Dwayne Pickens had only 5.2 miles for his segment, and he was confident that he’d breeze through it, considering he’d run eight miles the weekend before.
About two miles in, the breathing issues started. He told Runner’s World that it was a cold morning, so he thought the cool air was affecting his lungs and making it more challenging to breathe.
Thing - Emergency - Room - Course - Minutes
The next thing he remembers is waking up in the emergency room, where he found out that, technically, he’d been dead on the course for about two minutes.
Although he’d never had any indication of heart issues, the 64-year-old had suffered a heart attack, but he got incredibly lucky—running just behind him was a lieutenant with Dallas Fire Rescue, and a registered nurse with Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. They both stopped to help and started CPR, then used an automated external defibrillator from a nearby first responder vehicle.
Pickens - Heart - Days - Bypass - Surgery
They got Pickens’s heart started again. Two days later, he had quadruple bypass surgery.
“It just makes me feel grateful, to have this happen when help was right there, as opposed to having a heart attack during one of the many times I ran alone,” said Pickens. “Now, I want to be a lesson for others, that they should get their health checked even if they think there’s nothing wrong. Even if just one person makes an appointment for a physical because of my story, I’ll be happy.”
Pickens - Health - Person - Surgeon - Baron
Pickens has already changed the health of at least one person: his cardiac surgeon, Baron Hamman, M.D.
Although Hamman’s wife is a running coach, and he’s exceedingly familiar with the benefits of cardio exercise on the heart, he admits that before Pickens’s surgery, he was “that cardiac surgeon who gets winded running up the stairs.”
Something - Events - Pickens
But something about the dramatic events of Pickens’s...
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