HONOLULU (KHON2) — While we all celebrate how thankful we are for our moms today, one Hawaii man has a reason to be extra grateful.
Five years ago on Mother’s Day, Keith Shigetomi collapsed while going for a jog. He doesn’t remember much of what happened after that.
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“I used to run five days a week. So it was a common thing. I didn’t feel anything weird. I just remember saying okay, I want to go for a run before we go on for Mother’s Day dinner. And that’s the last thing I remember,” Shigetomi said.
A bystander gave him CPR before first responders rushed him to the hospital, where Dr. Ron Kuroda and the staff at The Queen’s Medical Center brought him back from the brink.
“When the firefighters got there, it was really quick and they shocked his heart once because it had stopped by then,” Dr. Kuroda said. “The paramedics came, they continued to do CPR. Because his heart stopped again, they shocked it again. Got it back and they rushed him in to us.”
Shigetomi spent two days in a medically induced coma before a diagnosis of a blockage in his heart led to a stent being put in.
“So his heart tried to kill him twice,” Dr. Kuroda said. “For somebody to come back and be as functional as Keith it’s not very common. So it truly is amazing to be able to talk to him today.”
Five years later Shigetomi has made some changes in his life. Maybe the biggest was his move from high-level defense attorney to a mentoring role on Hawaii Island.
“I make an effort to try to be more healthy,” Shigetomi said. “I have since changed my position. I am now a supervising attorney for the Hilo public defender’s office, and I think that’s my way of trying to give back to train young attorneys to become better.”
As Shigetomi thanked Dr. Kuroda for saving him, the tables were turned.
“It makes you feel great to hear that he’s paying forward, that he has his new birthday, and that he’s training other folks,” Dr. Kuroda said. “I think everything that everybody did, contributes to that. So thank you for making sure that it’s worth it Keith.”
Now Shigetomi gets to spend holidays like Mother’s Day and his re-birthday with his mom and a new granddaughter.
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“I’m still here. Glad you’re still here. And Happy Mother’s Day, mom,” he said.