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Ed Wilkinson

My First 5k Following a Heart Attack

By Rock 'n' Roll, 03/20/17, 12:00AM EDT


73-year-old Ed Wilkinson reflects.

Mar 20, 2017

For over fifteen years, Ed Wilkinson considered himself a runner. However, a year ago he almost lost his life to a heart attack. Ed was determined to regain his health and pick up running again and complete the 2017 Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas 5k. Read how faith in God and perseverance led Ed to the finish line. 

I am 73. I started running in 2001. My daughter was running and invited me to start running with her. Immediately, I was hooked! The more I ran, the more I wanted to run. Once I knew I was really serious about running, I invested in the proper shoes and clothes and started buying books about running. I was so serious about it I started running three times a week and would get up at 4:30 am twice during the week to run before work.

The end of October 2015 I ran a 5k in Greenville, S.C., where we were living at the time.

We had our house on the market to sell so we could move to Texas. The first week of January, we received a contract on the house. Then, there was no running for sure because we were busy packing and preparing to move the end of February.

After that, I did not do any running until April 2016. Once we arrived in McKinney and got settled, I registered to run a 5k on May 30 and started running again the first part of April to get ready for the run.

Then came May 30! I started the 5k, but half way through the run I had a massive heart attack and dropped dead. But fortunately, God had placed a paramedic three feet behind me (she recognized my pacing, liked it, and stayed with me) and a nurse running towards me (she was not part of the 5k, but had gotten permission to get on the path and was running against the runners. She said she had never been on this particular route before. Once she left her home, God kept directing her the direction that took her to me).

Once my seizure ended, they felt for a pulse, found none and immediately started CPR and kept me alive until EMS reached me. A patrolman ran to the situation and helped to give me CPR. It took 10 minutes to get a gurney to me because I had dropped on a bridge where the ambulance could not drive to.

Another God moment — once they got me into the Emergency Room at Baylor Medical Center, McKinney, God had a cardiovascular doctor from the cardiovascular hospital in Plano working the holiday shift. He put two stints in me to clear the two blockages that were 98% closed, one blockage being the “widow maker”. Then they paralyzed my body and froze it to 33 degrees (it took six hours to drop me to this temperature). They kept me frozen for 18 hours. The purpose was to protect my organs from swelling, especially my brain. Then it took six hours to raise my temperature to 97 degrees.

Once my body was warm again, they woke me.

  1. They hoped I would wake up.
  2. They hoped my brain would be healthy.
  3. They hoped I wouldn’t be paralyzed.

God gave me a total healing! Praise!

I was moved from the hospital to rehab on June 8, then released from rehab on June 15.

In October my cardiologist gave me permission to start walking to work towards a running pace.

I waited until the first part of November and gradually rebuilt my body for running and completed the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas 5k.

God gets all the praise and glory for my good health today! He used so many Angels to care for me including at least 2000 Prayer Warriors who prayed for me.

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