Cardiologist Says Running Saved First-Time Fort Smith Marathon Participant’s Life

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- On Sunday (Feb. 12) one runner will take part in his first half marathon during the 2017 Fort Smith Marathon.

This marathon is another step in Paul Kinder's running journey, which he said saved his life.

"I had a lady that was head of ICU that said people like me were found dead on the living room floor," said Paul Kinder. "You just don't make it."

From near death to running his first half marathon, Sunday marks a milestone for Paul Kinder.

"I'm fixing to tackle my first half marathon and I'm really excited about it."

Kinder said he started working out last year, because he hated his life at 300 pounds. But shortly after the workouts began, an eye-opening moment occurred.

"(I) took off a few days to go to deer camp, and while I was there, something happened," he said. "I didn't know what it was at the time. I knew I was short of breath."

Doctors discovered a massive blood clot in Kinder's left leg.

"It broke loose, to my understanding, traveled through my heart, broke up and I had somewhere around a thousand blood clots in my lungs."

A cardiologist said the recent workouts had saved his life. Soon after, Kinder started running 5Ks with his wife. From there his life quickly turned around.

"I called my daughter and I was almost in tears. I said, 'I just bought a pair of blue jeans and this is the size, and I'm so excited.'"

Kinder lost 90 pounds over the last year. He said he's almost completely off most of the medication he used to take.

"It's the greatest feeling in the world not to be ashamed to walk out of the house," he said. "I get emotional, I'm sorry, but it's a great feeling."

Kinder said he only hopes his story will encourage others in similar situations to start working out.