A second chance at life

Overview

Richard Atkins is an extremely fit, 62-year old executive at a healthcare software company.

One year ago, Richard was just 10 minutes into a 122 kilometer cycling race when he went into sudden cardiac arrest. After collapsing on the side of the road, he received CPR from a bystander and was resuscitated twice by EMTs. In spite of a less than 10% chance of surviving, Richard beat the odds.

In this conversation, I speak with Richard about surviving a near death experience, figuring out what’s important in your life, the power of speaking with other survivors, and getting back on the bike.

Highlights

7:50 – “The last time I was in a hospital prior to that, I was 7 years old having my tonsils out.”

8:40 – “Without a doubt I believe that my fitness was responsible for my survival.”

13:55 – “I’m not sure you truly go back to normal life.”

15:20 – “When you have a sudden incident with no lead-into at all, it must be harder for your partners and family and friends than it is for you as the individual because you just don’t get a chance to think about anything.”

16:00 – “It really gets you to think about what’s important in your life.”

27:30 – “Whatever you believe in, somebody was looking over me to say ‘it’s not your time right now.'”

30:30 – “It really helped [my mental health] to meet with fellow positive people.”

39:00 – “Getting back into the norm is vitally important as well… otherwise, if you don’t do that, you can start dwelling on things… and I’m not sure that’s entirely healthy.”

40:15 – “I do believe that it happened to me for a reason and there are some life lessons you should take from that, both for yourself, but I think particularly my one is that being able to give back in any small way I can.”

41:00 – “I definitely believe there were some lessons I was supposed to take from that day and I needed something like a cardiac arrest to get me thinking in the right way.”

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Thanks so much for listening!