BALTIMORE - How do you say thank you to the people who have given you a second chance at life? One local man did his best on Thursday, letting some good samaritans know that their quick actions will never be forgotten.
Bob Pohl had taken up long-distance running when he was a teenager and overweight. Soon it became more than just losing weight.
"Over time it became a great stress reliever and a great way to exercise and collect my thoughts at the end of the day," says Pohl.
But on Saturday, October 15th, just 20 yards from the finish line of the Baltimore Running Festival's Half-Marathon, Bob collapsed and went into cardiac arrest.
"When I saw him collapse I knew it wasn't a trip," Baltimore City Police Lt. Col. Ross Buzzuro explains. "I knew it was something serious."
Immediately Bob was tended to by other runners and then emergency medical professionals from Union Memorial and University of Maryland Hospitals.
"It seems like an eternity when these things happen," says Cindy Wolf from Union Memorial Hosptial, "But it was 10 minutes in duration from the time of arrest to the time you were rolling out to the University of Maryland."
Bob was brought back from the brink and Thursday he was giving a very public thank you to those involved. "I can never ever express to you my full and sincere appreciation for the actions that you took in giving me back my life."
"Not a lot of them make it even to the point that they get to us," says Dr. Michael Witting from the Univ. of Maryland Medical Center. "So he still wasn't conscious when he left the ER so I'm really delighted to see him up and
walking. A great success story."
"He was incredibly lucky and these people did their jobs but it meant so much more to us and we needed to tell them thank you," says Bob's wife Karen.
"What they did was so important and it goes way beyond a job or just helping a stranger out," says Bob. "It impacted a lot of lives and I want to tell them that."
And remarkably, Bob and all his good samaritans did finish the race.
"We made it to the finish line and I think that's important to point out," Lt. Col. Buzzuro points out. "Collectively the group of us, albeit on a gurney, we were able to finish the race together."
At today's public thank you, Bob also got his official medal for finishing the Baltimore Half-Marathon.