Year later, man reunites with paramedics who saved his life

72-year-old Atwood Kenjura suffered a cardiac arrest at last year's race.But thanks to first responders ... he survived. And today, he met with those paramedics who saved his life.

AUSTIN - In a sea of pink, there is a bright yellow spot.

The group of people wearing yellow shirts is the Kenjura family.

They are in their ninth year of participating in the Susan G. Komen "Race for the Cure" for breast cancer.

"It's kind of a dual celebration this time around,” said 72-year-old Atwood Kenjura.

His daughter, Kathryn Kenjura, is a breast cancer survivor; he is a cardiac arrest survivor, after having one at last year's race.

"They announced that we're ready to start the race,” said Atwood, remembering last year’s event. “Got to the starting deal and completely went out. Dropped immediately."

Thankfully paramedics were nearby.

"They came running up with the defibrillator,” Atwood said. “In a critical period of time.”

And on Sunday, he met those who saved his life.

"We just feel so grateful to actually be part of his care,” said Brett Steffen, one of the paramedics with St. David's HealthCare that saved Kenjura’s life.

Kenjura is now questioning why his life was saved last year.

"You question ... why?” he said “You know that there is a God and … and I guess the hardest thing is why was I spared? Because to think the survival rate is like five percent. So if a hundred of us have it, 95 don't make it."

But his daughter knows the purpose behind the pain.

"After being diagnosed with cancer at 32 years old, I never really understood why me?” said Kathryn. “Why at 32? Why so young? And last year, after this happened, I feel like I knew why I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Because had we not been in the race, then he probably would not be here."

Despite the jitters Sunday morning …

"I thought, well, I would just do a mile or two,” Atwood said.

He and his family finished the race.

They are grateful for the extra steps and time they have now been given.

Atwood Kenjura's cardiac arrest was due to ventricular fibrillation. It is one of the most serious disturbances to the cardiac rhythm.

For more information on the Susan G. Komen organization here in Austin: CLICK HERE.

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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