By Kimberly Davis


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A son says his father is alive because of the quick-thinking of a nearby runner and now he wants to personally thank that person. Eyewitness News heard from the good Samaritan Monday night. He is a cardiologist and was happy to hear the father will be OK.

Matthew Walters says this was at least the 20th half-marathon his father has run in.

But Saturday was certainly a race he’ll never forget and the family is hoping to meet one runner in particular out of 30,000.

“He runs weekly. He was putting in a lot of effort,” Walters said.

It’s not easy running 13.1 miles, but Walters says his 57-year-old father, Howard Walters, was used to it. At the start of Saturday’s half-marathon, Matthew Walters says everything was fine.

“From what I understand, he was running really well. I wanted to see him at the finish line so me and my buddy actually caught a train,” Walters said.

Credit: CBS3

Walters came from Levittown to watch his father cross the finish line, but that never happened.

“He coded at some point in the race. He fell down,” Walters said.

Howard went into cardiac arrest at the 12-and-a-half mile mark.

Another runner saw him collapse and immediately started CPR. First responders believe that runner saved Howard Walters’ life.

“I would like to meet them, find out who they are, see if we could like buy them a drink or send them a Christmas card,” Matthew Walters said.

In the season of thanks, the Walters family is grateful for the runner who stopped so Howard Walters could be around for another Thanksgiving.

“I feel like Philadelphia gets a bad rep. This is proof people in Philadelphia really do care about other people. They didn’t know him. He hit the ground and they helped him,” Matthew Walters said.

Howard Walters suffered a heart attack. He had surgery Monday and is expected to make a full recovery.

He spoke with the runner who saved his life late Monday night. They are planning to meet each other after Thanksgiving.

Kimberly Davis