Runner who suffered cardiac arrest at marathon meets paramedic who helped saved his life

A Nova Scotia man who was resuscitated after suffering a cardiac arrest at the Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax on the weekend says his heart stopped for 10 minutes.

From what he remembers, Shawn Quigley was having a good run on Sunday.

“My average pace was six minutes and four seconds per kilometer,” Quigley said. “I saw the finish line, so I started to sprint. Then, I finally finished, I slowed down, and just blacked out, it's the last thing I remember is crossing the finish line.”

Two bystanders, who happened to be medical professionals, saw him collapse, and immediately started CPR.

“If it wasn't for the quick reaction of people that were there to lend aid right away until the paramedics came, I wouldn't be here right now,” Quigley said.

A frequent runner, Quigley had just completed the half marathon, which is 21 kilometres.

The paramedics at the Blue Nose Marathon sprang into action.

“It's amazing honestly, because from what I was told, they did CPR on me for 10 minutes and shocked me four times,” Quigley said.

An ambulance rushed Quigley to hospital, where he has remained ever since.

“I have all the electrodes that I have to keep on until they figure out what's wrong with me,” he said.

On Tuesday, he said he felt great and was undergoing tests, as doctors try to determine what happened.

Tuesday afternoon, Quigley got the chance to thank one of the people he calls his heroes -- the paramedic who was in command of the team as they performed CPR and deployed a defibrillator.

Amber Humes was team lead for the medical staff at the Blue Nose Marathon.

“Without those bystanders and volunteers present, able to recognize immediately what was gravely wrong, then we wouldn't have had potentially the outcome that we did,” Humes said.

Said Quigley: “I wanna meet each and every one of them, and thank them for what they did.”

The organizers of the Blue Nose Marathon say it's why they have paramedics and AEDs throughout the course.

“That's why we have those plans in place so that hopefully everybody is safe at the end of the day,” said Sherri Robbins, the Blue Nose Marathon Executive director.

As he laces up the same shoes he wore for the marathon -- to just take a walk this time -- Quigley knows he was surrounded by the best people at what could have been the worst of times.

He doesn't have his medal for completing the half marathon yet, but he's hoping to get that soon.

He says he will run again, but he will be closely monitored.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Heidi Petracek