Runner who had heart attack during Detroit marathon reunites with officers who saved him

‘I just want to thank them for everything,’ runner says

A runner who went into cardiac arrest during a marathon is reaching out to thank his rescuers.

DETROIT – Tommy Kornieck said he feels lucky to be alive after having a heart attack during the annual Detroit Free Press Marathon.

“Not very many people would have made it. It’s a miracle that I’m alive. I remember kind of being at the start line and then I kinda just started veering off towards the edge and then I woke up later on and was told that I was found on the sidewalk unconscious,” Kornieck said.

Kornieck, 26, has two neighborhood police officers with the Detroit Police Department to thank -- and a handful of good Samaritans that came to his aid when he passed out.

“I just want to thank them for everything,” Kornieck said.

In October, Local spoke with the officers who helped save Kornieck.

“I was just hoping that he didn’t die on me,” officer Dario Sharp said in October.

Kornieck was able to reunite with Sharp and Troy Wesley, the two officers who saved him.

“I had too much happiness and meeting them is just amazing,” Kornieck said.

Kornieck is thankful that everyone was in the right place at the right time to save his life. At this point, it’s not clear if he’ll ever return to running again.

“I do want to get back into running and stuff. But I don’t know how or when or where that will happen,” Kornieck said.

Kornieck had to have a defibrillator implanted to ensure he doesn’t have another heart attack. He plans to focus completely on returning to school.

Click here to view the GoFundMe to help Kornieck with medical bills and tuition.


About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.