KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Crossing the finish line is a milestone. But for one Kanasa City man crossing the finish line didn't happen without a year-long detour and help from several University of Kansas medical students.
A year ago David Houchin woke up in a hospital bed not knowing what happened. He had suffered a heart attack while running the Big 12 5K race in Kansas City.
Houchin learned three KU medical students saved his life when they stopped running the race and administered CPR.
"I probably wouldn’t have made it if it wasn’t for those guys," Houchin said from his hospital bed in 2017 not knowing who saved his life.
A few days later he was reunited with the students when they stopped by his hospital room, and on Saturday, they walked him across the finish line.
Sebastian Schoneich, Kelly Lembke, and Dakota Bunch jumped into action that day, and Truman Medical Center doctors say without their help Houchin probably wouldn't have made it.
"It's super special. We’re thrilled that we’re all here together, and it's not snowing. We’re going to walk it this year," Schoneich said.
"When I think about it I still get speechless, and when we talk to Dave he still tears up and is so thankful," Lembke said.
"I’m just glad that we could be there, and everything worked out the way it did. It’s just great," Bunch said.
"I always had faith in the human spirit, humankind, there’s just no words to it. People you don’t even know stop to help," Houchin said.
He believes finishing the 5k is a triumph.
"Today is more about just celebrating life, you know, it's still pretty emotional, but celebrating life and being thankful for people you don’t even know, and my son, and my wife especially, just my whole family. Its been a great year," Houchin said.
"After a year of his recovery, and who he still is, I’m just so glad my dad’s still here with us," said his son Reagan.
This year the Houchin family grew by three.
"He’s kind of like our crazy uncle, I guess," Lembke said.
"It feels like family. It’s bizarre, but it's been a real blessing getting to know him and his family," Bunch said.
"I love ‘em. They’re great kids, they’re going to be great doctors. They mean the world to me, and my wife, and my son," Houchin said.
Houchin says thanks to them he has a new start in the race of life.
His doctor says Houchin has a clean bill of health.
They did have to put a stint in his heart, but the only restriction Houchin says he has is that he can't buy life insurance.