LUCK WAS IN: Melbourne’s Tony Romano, 51, is competing in a Coast 5km run this weekend.
LUCK WAS IN: Melbourne’s Tony Romano, 51, is competing in a Coast 5km run this weekend. Brett Wortman

Tony’s back from the dead to compete in Kawana run today

TONY Romano might be the only person in the 150-strong pack of runners at Kawana Surf Club this morning who can legitimately claim he died six months ago.

The 51-year-old is lucky to be alive after he had a heart attack while doing the Diamond Creek parkrun in Melbourne last year.

The Melbourne native suffered a ventricular fibrillation that was caused by a congenital heart defect he had carried his entire life without knowing it.

Mr Romano was resuscitated by a trained paramedic and eight nurses who were also completing the run and assisted him until paramedics arrived.

If he had not switched to group running three weeks earlier the attack probably would have been fatal.

"I played football and ran 10km on my own and biked 40-50km on my own a couple of nights a week, so I was very blessed," he said.

"I see it as God's hand on me and that at that time I needed to be around people, so he put me around a lot of people."

After Mr Romano woke from his week-long coma surgeons fixed his heart and released him from hospital just days before his son's wedding.

"I've been back on the bike and running slowly," Mr Romano said.

He is at Mooloolaba for the holidays looking after a 91-year-old family friend and will take part in today's Kawana parkrun.

"I'm just glad to be back up and running," he said.

"And it wouldn't be possible without those people who stopped and helped me and kept me alive."


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