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After KHOU 11 story, Memorial Park runner reunites with good Samaritans who saved his life after heart attack

“We were talking to him. I remember saying, 'Hey buddy, I know you can hear us. Don’t check out,'" Jack Perini said at the reunion.

After sharing his story on KHOU 11 News, a Houston runner finally got to meet the people who saved his life at Memorial Park.

Gene Velasquez, 55, collapsed while running at the park in June. He suffered a heart attack and was in cardiac arrest. 

Velasquez spent the next five days in a coma. Paramedics told his medical team at Memorial Hermann Hospital that someone called 911 and did CPR until an ambulance arrived. 

Velasquez had been going to the Memorial Park running trail several times a week since August hoping to find whoever helped. 

After the story aired on KHOU, one of the good Samaritans came forward and said several people actually stopped to help that day.

RELATED: Runner who collapsed at Memorial Park searching for good Samaritan who saved his life

Three of the men who performed CPR reunited with Velasquez at the park Wednesday.

Sgt. David Gonzalez with the University of St. Thomas Police Department was the first to stop that day. He was off-duty and happened to be running nearby.

“I’m glad I was there at the right time,” said Gonzalez who is trained in CPR.

He, Jack Perini and Eric McClendon took turns doing CPR as they waited for an ambulance to arrive.

Credit: KHOU 11
Gene Velasquez collapsed while running at Memorial Park last June. After sharing his story on KHOU, he was finally reunited with the heroes who saved him.

RELATED: Astroworld Festival tragedy spotlights value of CPR training

“We were talking to him. I remember saying, 'Hey buddy, I know you can hear us. Don’t check out.' Whether he heard it consciously or not, he stuck around and did his part,” said Perini.

They all wondered if the man they helped was ok, but they didn’t know anything about him. They were relieved to see he's doing well.

Gene’s whole family came to Memorial Park to show how grateful they are.

“Good people are still out there, and we saw that today,” said Velasquez.

Stephanie Whitfield on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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