This article originally appeared on nbc12.com
A runner who suffered cardiac arrest while running in the Allianz Partners Richmond Marathon in November 2023, met the people who saved his life, Monday evening.
David Griffin tells 12 On Your Side that he remembered running the race and then waking up in an ambulance, asking what happened.
“He was like man you died,” David Griffin recalled, who suffered a cardiac arrest while running a marathon.
It was a shocking moment, from what Griffin tells me — started as an exciting day! He and his friends were ready to run the race quicker than last year.
“I walked out the door that day … honestly, thinking I was in the best shape of my life,” he said.
Griffin explained that he was feeling good throughout the race – they had just slowed down to prepare for the hill ahead…
“They said you just keeled over,” Griffin said.
That’s when a friend tried to catch him – making sure he didn’t hit his head.
A fellow runner saw him collapse, raced over, and saw he wasn’t breathing, so started CPR until first responders got there.
Charles Jackson, an EMT who performed CPR on David Griffin, said that Griffin’s heart wasn’t beating for 5 or 6 minutes.
“I’m just focused on beating his heart for him and making sure we can do everything we can to get him back,” Jackson said.
Which they did.
“He got a second to breathe and take in what’s going on right now and we shock him, and we got a pulse back.,” Jackson recalled.
“I woke up to hearing the ambulance, the sirens, the engine blaring i could tell it was going fast and I could tell it was serious,” Griffin explained.
After this terrifying experience, Griffin learned why this happened to him.
“I was born with an aorta valve which is a congenital heart condition,” Griffin said.
He got surgery for the condition, in December and was able to enjoy the holidays with his family.
Meanwhile, Jackson said that it’s rare to have such a positive recovery.
“Oh, it feels amazing. this is the first time I’ve gotten to meet a patient after I brought them to the hospital so it’s great to see him doing so well and walking around like absolutely nothing happened,“ Jackson said.