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Man holds party to thank first responders, co-workers that saved his life

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A man offered a heart-felt thanks tonight, a little over a year after his heart actually stopped.

Russel Hyder recently celebrated his second 1st birthday.

He's calling it that because on January 3, 2013, while he was working at a Kalamazoo post office, he went into sudden cardiac arrest.

But thanks to the quick action of his co-workers, first responders, and many others in a well-coordinated chain of survival, Hyder pulled through.

"How can you explain being dead one minute, and then waking up after five days and realizing you're alive and that all your hopes and dreams, your future, are still out there," he said.

Hyder invited everyone who helped play a part in his rescue to the Life EMS Ambulance Facility in Kalamazoo Friday night.

"Miracles do happen in the city of Promise, and if you're a child out there, debating what you're going to do in your life, just look at these police officers, paramedics; they make a difference every day," he said.

On top of thanking them, Hyder gave each person a challenge coin, similar to what the military gives out to service members for special recognition.