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He died of a heart attack 10 years ago. He is now celebrating a milestone after being given a literal second chance at life.

Doctors used targeted temperature management to preserve Bill Lathrop's organs during surgery, then brought him back to life. He is celebrating his second chance.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — Ten years ago this October, 3NEWS interviewed a man who had died at his home of a heart attack.

But, due to a brand new treatment at the time, the man survived and is celebrating with a ten-mile run on his next checkup.

Bill Lathrop and members of his family said his story is nothing short of a miracle.  

"It was a miracle. It was God's deal. Not ours. Not many people survive and uh... (it's) emotional," Lathrop said.

It's an incredibly emotional memory for Lathrop. While he couldn't remember the heart attack, his wife Cathy will never forget. 

"It was a very distinct gurgling sound as air was leaving his body. And it immediately woke me up. And I started yelling his name. And when I turned on the light he had just began to be completely out of air anymore. No air. His eyes were open, he was... he was dead," Cathy said. 

The first time we interviewed Lathrop, he said was grateful for all the people who worked on him to save his life. That included two ambulance crews, hospital staff and his doctors.

Related: Man brought back to life with help of therapeutic hypothermia after cardiac arrest 

One of those caregivers was cardiologist Dr. Thomas Alexander, who said Bill was the first patient in the area ever to be treated with a process called targeted temperature management, which used to be called therapeutic hypothermia.

"Bill is a success story. He ran 20 miles a day before he had the cardiac arrest. No one knew that he was sick," Alexander said. 

The refrigeration procedure they used on Lathrop was totally uncommon ten years ago. But it's a lot more common now, Alexander said, leading to a much higher survival rate for this kind of heart attack. 

"600,000 Americans have sudden cardiac arrest every year," Alexander said. "Only 20 percent survive the hospital discharge. So, Bill is an amazing miracle." 

The doctor said they lower the body temperature so there is less severe damage for someone brought back to life.
Bill told me how he sank to his knees to give thanks as he left the hospital. 

"I reach up here all the time touching the two wires to my heart. And I know it's a miracle, man." 

Bill and members of his church produced a video to talk about the miracle he experienced. You can find the video by clicking here.

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