Son escapes death, then saves father's life

June 15, 2012 4:53:52 PM PDT
For one Houston-area family, Father's Day holds extra special meaning. A son dealing with heart failure was able to overcome his own medical struggle to save his father's life.

"I was thinking you've got to be kidding me," Brian Benoit recalled. "You don't get heart failure at 26."

It was heart failure, and he had only gone to the doctor for a cough. Emergency room doctors told his parents.

"We have to do this procedure and we have to do it right away because if we don't our son will be dead in less than 24 hours," Brian's father Albert Benoit said.

Brian had two surgeries and went home with a heart pump, carrying the battery in a backpack. One year after Brian left the hospital his father had a massive heart attack.

"Eyes rolled in back of his head his jaw dropped and he slumped over in the bed," Brian's mother Glenda Benoit recalled.

Brian ran into the room and began CPR, a skill Brian, an Eagle Scout, had learned from his father, his Scoutmaster.

Albert said, "He kept me alive until paramedics could get there."

Paramedics shocked Albert's heart and got him to the hospital but it was terrifying for Glenda.

She said, "Losing both of them -- it's just not something I want to even think about."

But Brian did well and so did his father. And their story has amazed everyone, including Brian's heart surgeon.

"Remarkable," said Dr. Bud Frazier with the Texas Heart Institute. "It's gratifying we were able to save the boy, but even more so that the boy was able to save his father."

And Brian's heart fully recovered! Two months ago his heart pump was removed.

"I was overwhelmed," he said. "I think what I said was, 'Finally!'"

On this Father's Day, Albert Benoit will celebrate with his son Brian, who gave him the greatest gift of all.


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