This article originally appeared on wric.com
A local runner got a chance to thank the bystanders and first responders who saved his life during last year’s Richmond Marathon.
On Monday, an event was held to reunite David Griffin, who went into cardiac arrest while on the course, with his rescuers at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond and to raise awareness about the usefulness of knowing CPR.
Three months ago, Griffin began the race with no idea what was going to happen to him.
“We were really prepared,” said Griffin. “I walked out the door that day, honestly thinking I was in the best shape of my life.”
But as soon as he crossed over the Belvidere Street Bridge, Griffin said he went from running to laying in the back of an ambulance.
“I was like, ‘What happened?’ And he’s like, ‘Man, you died,’” Griffin said.
Griffin went into cardiac arrest in the middle of the race and bystanders and first responders on the sidelines were quick to perform CPR to keep his heart beating until he could get the help he needed.
“I never thought that, you know, at my age, that I would be dealing with, you know, potentially not being here tomorrow,” Griffin said.
Afterward, Griffin found out he had a pre-existing heart condition that contributed to what happened that day. Now coming up on his 50th birthday, he’s on the way to recovery after heart surgery.
At Monday’s event, Griffin got the chance to reunite with some of the people who helped save his life that day, including EMT Charles Jackson.