Cyclist Survives Second Heart Attack in Less Than a Year - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Cyclist Survives Second Heart Attack in Less Than a Year

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The month of February happens to be Heart Health Month, and one local man knows firsthand how traumatic it can be when you have serious heart problems.

Daniel Ruidant came close to death at least twice during the past year. He found out Friday afternoon that paramedic Andrew Jones was one of the people who saved his life a few weeks ago.

"It's like a miracle again, and to find a good samaritan who stopped and helped the doctor to bring me back alive," Ruidant said.

Ruidant was riding in a group of cyclists down the Joe Fulton Corridor when he had a heart attack -- the second one since the summer. Luckily, his cardiologist just so happened to be riding in his group.

"I jump in and started doing chest compressions, pulled off his helmet and started doing CPR," Dr. Srikanth Damaraju said.

Ruidant, a 66-year old hair stylist, loves to train and ride in bike races. He hits all the big contests, like Conquer the Coast, taking part in a sport that requires you to be in shape.

"Aerobic exercise is wonderful. It's a big part of what keeps people healthy, and I think if this man was not so well toned and trained, and he didn't have such an excellent cardiac tone, he would have been dead a long time ago," Damaraju said. "I think it's that level of conditioning that allows him to respond to extraordinary stress."

Despite his great physical condition, the 66-year old said that after his first heart attack, he decided to put a heart monitor on his bike and remembers seeing the readout hit zero.

"I saw 168, so when I saw that, I put in my mind I need to slow down," Ruidant said. "By the time I slow down, a fraction of a second then I saw my computer show zero. I thought my computer quit working."

While his fellow cyclists and his cardiologist were working quickly to try and save his life, someone called 911. Andrew Jones was off-duty and heard the call. He was working a second job and fortunately had everything with him that was needed to save the day.

"I'm just glad that it was a well-coordinated effort," Jones said. "And look at him. He's back at work right now, so I can't ask for anything else for an outcome."

Ruidant now has a defibrulator implanted in his chest to keep his heart from going into cardiac arrest again. He said his bike riding days are probably over because he doesn't want to tempt fate a third time.