Heart attack survivor rides bike across the country for charity - New York News

Heart attack survivor rides bike across the country for charities

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -

When someone faces illness or medical scares, they often give up activities they used to enjoy. 

One man survived 17 heart surgeries and suffered multiple heart attacks -- but instead of sitting back, he's riding his bike across the country.  He started in San Diego and made a stop in Surprise.

"If I worried everyday, I probably would've been dead a long time ago."

Bob Quick set his worries aside after becoming the first man in his family to live past the age of 43.

"I had a massive heart attack in 2004.  I was dead for three and a half minutes.  Paramedics worked on me and worked on me.. did not give up," he said.

With 16 stints, plus a pacemaker/defibrillator in his chest, he trained long and hard to ride his bike from California to Florida.

"God's on my side and I have a wonderful son who is my medical support and every day, I get to be at a fire station, so if something goes wrong, they can definitely help me."

Bob and his 26-year-old son Conrad stay the night at fire stations.  On Friday night, they ate dinner and slept in Surprise.

"It's an honor to be a part of his journey across the country.  It shows that even people with heart conditions can get out and still be active and do things they put their minds to," said Capt. Scott Collin of the Surprise Fire Department.

The Quicks are documenting the whole journey with YouTube videos and pictures on their web site.

Bob has enjoyed all of the scenery through the desert so far, but he says the hardest part of his journey has been dealing with the heat.

"What happens is this is there's a big hunk of metal in here.. we keep cooling pads on it everything, but about every two hours, I have to just get off the bike, rub my legs, rub my arms, it's part of the heart disease.. everything goes numb.  I got some pretty good sunburns as I came out of California to Arizona as you can see. But as they say, no pain, no gain, huh."

And he feels pain often -- heart pain.  He admits sometimes he can't help but cry.

"And here is nothing but medication.."

How many pills does he take a day?

"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.. that doesn't count my vitamins.. I usually take 32 vitamins at home."

Traveling with medication, dealing with pain and enduring heat -- it's all worth it to this man.  He's so determined to raise money for paramedics like those who saved his life and other charities, but his ultimate dream is to give disease-stricken people the strength they can't find in themselves.

"That's what I want to pass on to people because if you don't get up, you don't try, you're just gonna sit there and you're gonna get worse.  Listen to your doctors, take your meds and above all exercise."

His final destination is St. Augustine, Florida.  He plans to arrive a week before Thanksgiving and spend the weekend with his family.

Bob says he aims to stay healthy and keep living for his wife and grandchildren.

If you'd like to follow Bob's journey or donate to his cause: www.facebook.com/BobQuicksJourney

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