Addict who got a 2nd chance rides coast to coast for charity

Twelve years ago, Bob Quick was being wheeled into an ambulance when a paramedic looked at him and asked what he wanted to say to his wife and kids.

Before he knew it, things went black, Quick said. Then, out of the mist, he saw the figure of Jesus walking toward him.

“You could see the holes here and here,” Quick said, pointing to his own tanned hands on a Friday morning outside the Roy Fire Station. “And he turns me away and says, ‘Go back, my son. You have great work to do.'”

Quick emerged from that massive heart attack believing that he had been given a second purchase on life after years of drug abuse and “hard living.”

Now the hyperkinetic 55-year-old man with a bushy gray beard and neon socks is known for his coast-to-coast bike rides raising money for charity, despite the 16 stents in his heart and implantable defibrillator in his chest.

On Friday, about a quarter of the way through his second coast-to-coast bike ride to raise awareness of autism, Quick made a stop at McKay-Dee Hospital to thank the medical team that saved his life.

The cardiologist who saved the Roy man’s life 12 years ago, Dr. Jack Lassetter, said he and Quick bonded over “life-changing conversations” about how the recovering addict could find purpose and strength.

“Everybody thinks that they’ll be disabled and become what we call a ‘cardiac cripple,'” Lassetter said. “And my analogy has always been that you use disease as a bus. You can drive the bus, you can ride the bus, or the bus will run you over.”

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