A MOUNTAIN biker who collapsed and “died” during a gruelling race owes his life to two medics he was trying to beat.
David McArthur suffered a heart attack after racing to the top of a hill in the Scottish Borders.
The gravely ill 41-year-old was lying motionless at the summit of the remote glen.
But, incredibly, arriving on the scene were two resuscitation specialists who had been chasing David up the steep hill.
The consultant anaesthetist and first aid responder were taking part in the race and came across him only moments after he tumbled from his bike.
Dad-of-one David, from Markinch, Fife, said: “Without them I would not be here today.
“It was amazingly bad luck to suffer a major cardiac arrest at just 41. I thought I was super-healthy.
“One moment I was trying to get ahead and away from them.
“The next, they had caught up with me and were saving my life.”
David says he doesn’t remember a thing about the resuscitation.
“I got to the top of the hill, felt faint and my sight went,” he said.
“I crashed to the ground as my heart stopped.”
David had been taking part in a mountain bike race in Glentress last weekend.
The offshore worker was resuscitated by anaesthetist Matt Baird and first aid expert Dan Parkin.
Dan, 42, from Dunbar, East Lothian, said: “I compressed David’s chest up and down to pump his heart and Matt administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
“At one point I feared he wouldn’t make it.
“David came back for a moment or two and then his heart stopped again.”
He lay lifeless for at least four minutes when rescuers from Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue team arrived with a defibrillator to shock him to life.
“We managed to restart his heart but it stopped again,” said Dave Wright, deputy team leader.
“He was incredibly lucky because not everyone survives.
“We got him off the hill and to a waiting ambulance helicopter which flew him to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.”
Cardiologists diagnosed a seriously narrowed artery cutting off the blood supply to his heart.
“I was so lucky I died only yards from medics,” David added.
“If I had suffered an arrest out on my own on the bike I would be dead now.
“I owe my life to Matt and Dan.”
Wife Sharron and daughter Tori, eight, are delighted he was saved.
The cycling buff hopes to get the all-clear to get back into the saddle soon.
“Doctors have discounted any serious heart fault,” he said.
“They opened the artery and inserted a stent to stop it shutting again. I got out of hospital in four days.
“My next cycling event will be a fundraiser for the mountain rescue guys and air ambulance.”