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Avid South Florida runner survives several cardiac arrests, meets those who saved him

Broward man thanks team that saved his life after suffering cardiac arrest during beach run
Broward man thanks team that saved his life after suffering cardiac arrest during beach run 01:48

MIAMI - Shams Lakhdhir is a runner, but he's been reduced to walking on a cane for the last ten months. 

The 52-year-old was on his usual run on A1A when he collapsed from a cardiac arrest last August. 

"I remember vaguely dropping my daughter off around midday and that's sort of the last thing I recall," Lakhdhir said.

Lifeguards and fire rescue resuscitated him and took him to Broward Health, where he suffered another cardiac arrest causing several organs to fail. 

"Every second is very vital. The chain of CPR. You need to start it fast," said Marcus Goolesby of Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue.

He was in the hospital for the last five weeks, slowly learning how to stand up again.

"Literally having me figure out and learning how to sit, the act of sitting in a chair," Lakhdhir said.

Lakhdhir's cardiologist says there are not always clear signs of a cardiac arrest and says it can happen to anyone, even though Lakhdhir is an avid runner. 

"There is quite a significant percentage of patients where their first symptom is a heart attack," said Kathir Subramanian, Lakhdhir's Cardiologist at Broward Health.

Lakhdhir finally got to say thank you to those who saved him that day, and he was shocked at how many of them played a part. 

"Starting all the way from the first responders all the way to the emergency room staff," Lakhdhir said. "Doctors. I'm just externally grateful and in awe of all these wonderful people here." 

Lakhdhir says he's eager to get back to running. He's hoping to get back to that in just a few months.

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