November 23, 2018 10:00 pm
Updated: November 23, 2018 10:02 pm

Edmonton runner reunited with people who saved his life: ‘Can’t explain how grateful I am’

WATCH: A man who went into cardiac arrest while running in the Edmonton River Valley met the Good Samaritan who jumped into action to save his life. Albert Delitala was there for the celebratory reunion.

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An Edmonton man said he was overwhelmed after meeting several people who stepped in without question to help save his life last month.

Dragomir Vujnovic, 57, was just finishing a long run in the river valley on Oct. 5 when he collapsed. He went into cardiac arrest in Emily Murphy Park, five kilometres from his house.

Three Good Samaritans performed CPR until paramedics arrived, which is believed to have helped save his life.

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READ MORE: Cardiac arrest survivor searches for Good Samaritans who saved his life in Edmonton

Vujnovic and his family hosted a celebration Thursday night to thank the people who came to his aid, and to raise money for the University Hospital Foundation in support of the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute, where he received treatment.

One of the rescuers, Ethan Kutanzi, was able to reconnect with Vujnovic, after hearing about the story on Global News.

The third-year University of Alberta medical student was riding his motorcycle down Groat Road with his girlfriend when he saw Vujnovic in distress.

“We just pulled over and just ran, checked his pulse and just started doing CPR,” Kutanzi said.

READ MORE: Sudden cardiac events far more common in young people, experts say

At the same fundraiser, Alberta Health Services recognized Kutanzi’s efforts with its Citizen Lifesaving Award.

Vujnovic says he now considers Kutanzi his second son.

“He’s my hero and I can’t explain how grateful I am,” Vujnovic said.

Survival rates in cases of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest are much higher in cities with greater numbers of people who know CPR, according to Vujnovic’s interventional cardiologist, Dr. Blair O’Neill.

“He survived this because there was a bystander — or several bystanders — who were willing and able to do CPR on the street,” O’Neill said.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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