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A Temple Man’s Recovery Story: Heart Attack to Half Marathon

On Sunday, in Temple, Texas, Mr. Harris will run a half marathon a mere 7 months after having a heart attack. Running with him will be his Baylor Scott and White recovery team. When recalling the day of his heart attack in May, Thom Harris describes the experience as a tingling in his arm with pain in his shoulder blades. "It was like my batteries were dying."

The heart attack came as a surprise to Mr. Harris as he does not suffer from high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or anything of the sort. For many months he looked forward to his cardiac rehab session at Baylor Scott and White in Temple. Speeding up the clock to November and Mr. Harris is training for a half marathon with the help of his medical team.

The medical team had placed a sign looking for people to partake in the marathon with them, and while exercising one day, Harris decided to join them, according to the cardiac rehab manager Jarret Cowell. Mr. Harris knew that having a heart attack at 53 was unusual, and he decided to make the most of the situation and set a goal for himself. Hence, the decision to switch from cardio rehab to half marathon training.

Crowell says that the change between Mr. Harris, who began on day one, and the man ready to finish a marathon with them is striking. He went walking on a treadmill, huffing, and puffing to be able to complete a half marathon. His perspective has changed regarding life after his traumatic experience. After being told how close he was to dying, Harris decided that "if you can go do the things you want to do now do them."

Both Harris and the cardio rehab are looking forward to the race. According to Crowell, this half marathon is on Mr. Harris' bucket, and that he and his team are happy to be a part of his journey. Mr. Harris has utmost faith that he will reach the end before some of the others. Mr. Harris joyfully says, "I mean, I got to wait on them to finish."

 

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