Ipswich runner 'died for three minutes' after finishing race

Dean Lushington in his hospital bed
Image caption Dean Lushington said he wanted to make the most of his "second chance"

A man who "died for three minutes" after having a cardiac arrest at the finish line of a half marathon has thanked the medics who saved his life.

Father of three Dean Lushington had just completed the Great East Run in Ipswich when he collapsed.

First aiders resuscitated him and treated him with a defibrillator.

He said he "didn't believe" what had happened when he came around, and has vowed to make the most of his "second chance" at life.

Mr Lushington, from Ipswich, hailed those who tended to him as "absolutely fantastic".

"I guess if I hadn't collapsed at the finish line and maybe 100 yards back or something, it may've taken the first aiders a little longer to get to me and there might've been more lasting damage," the 32-year-old added.

"But because I fell at their feet, they pounced on me as soon as I hit the floor.

"Maybe it's a second chance... I want to live my life as much as before but doing it a little bit extra."

Image caption Mr Lushington's wife Katie also took part in the half marathon

Mr Lushington completed the event on 22 September in one hour and 57 minutes.

He said he was "chuffed" to finish within his target time, stopped his watch and went to get his phone out of the pocket when he collapsed.

"I remember breathing quite deeply but I figured it was just because I sprinted the last hundred yards or so," he said.

Let me walk home

Mr Lushington said he had trained well for the 13.1-mile race, felt good on the day and had enjoyed seeing daughters Evie, Jessica and Scarlett along the route.

"I don't remember hitting the floor, being resuscitated or being zapped back to life.

"I didn't really believe them. I even tried to convince the first aid people to let me walk home," said Mr Lushington, whose wife Katie also took part in the event.

Mr Lushington has been in hospital and has been fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD), a small electrical device used to treat abnormal heart rhythms.

He said he hopes to take part in the event again next year.

As part of Restart a Heart Day, the British Heart Foundation has encouraged members of the public to learn CPR in case someone has a cardiac arrest.

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