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Father's Day has new meaning for man who suffered heart attack during half marathon

The dramatic event has given Soma Ambadapudi a new outlook on life.

HOUSTON — It was Jan. 20,  2020, a big day for many runners in Houston. The Chevron Houston Half Marathon was taking place, and for Soma Ambadapudi, it was his second race.

"I was jogging for almost six to seven years," Ambadapudi said.

But while Ambadapudi was running the marathon, he said he noticed something that didn’t feel right.

"I walked into a gas station on Kirby and Richmond and spread out on the floor in the gas station," he said.

They called 911 and paramedics took him to Memorial Hermann Hospital in the Texas Medical Center. As it turned out, Ambadapudi had suffered a massive heart attack.

Doctors placed an Impella in his heart. One of the world’s smallest heart pumps, it supports the heart while stents are placed. After several days, Ambadapudi's condition began to improve and the Impella was removed.

"Yes, I was scared at that moment, but I never thought it was a heart attack," Ambadapudi said.

Ambadapudi spent more than two months in the hospital recovering. Now that he’s back at home with his family, he says he’s grateful he was given a second chance. The experience has given his life a new meaning. And on this Father’s Day, he hopes to teach others not to take the little moments for granted. He said he hopes people listen to their hearts.

"I think that we should not take our health for granted. That it is in good condition especially when you are little over 50 years old," Ambadapudi said.

RELATED: Runner dies after suffering heart attack during 2020 Chevron Houston Marathon

RELATED: Half-marathon heart attack survivor searching for her Good Samaritan

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