Heart attack survivor shares near fatal crash & his motivation to get back on his feet

FRISCO, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) — It’s not a stretch to say Russ Kilpatrick is blessed to be alive. All you have to do is look at photos of his mangled motorcycle to realize that’s the case. 

“I often hear people say I’m lucky. Luck is when you play the lottery. This is God and he is saying that he has something for me to do,” he said.

In early May, Kilpatrick was coming home on his bike on I-35 near Waxahachie when the lights went dark and he passed out. 

He explained that when he woke up, he took his helmet off and was able to dial 911.

Assisted by construction workers at the scene, Kilpatrick was taken to the hospital where he learned he suffered from a heart attack. He had a shattered femur, shattered pelvis, broken ribs, a broken wrist, and the skin on his back was peeled right off. 

“Russ is sharing this story because he believes he has a purpose,” his wife Kelli said. “He believes his life was spared because he has a purpose.” 

Ironically, Kilpatrick’s daughter Taylor — who’s the reigning Miss Frisco — had the mission of heart disease prevention and has even worked for the American Heart Association. 

Russ and Taylor Kilpatrick
Russ and Taylor Kilpatrick

CBS 11 News

“The hardest part of this whole process becomes seeing someone who seems invincible — be human,” she said.

To see her dad now struggle to do things that always came easy is scary, Taylor explained. 

“Little girls forget that dads feel pain and little girls forget that dads get boo-boos too,” she said. “But I only see him as stronger than I ever thought.”

Therapists at Baylor Scott and White’s Downtown Dallas rehab facility understand exactly why Taylor feels that way. They see her dad’s drive and determination every single day. 

“A lot of people might want to be focused on their recovery and just getting home,” physical therapist Nelson Borchardt said. “Russ has a goal… to be there to support his daughter in this time.” 

To support Taylor in her quest to become Miss Texas, Kilpatrick has every intention to be at her next competition in Richardson.

“We’re praying and hoping this could be her year and it would be awesome to walk up on that stage and celebrate that monumental experience with her,” he said.

Taylor said if there’s one thing she’s heard her dad say over and over again, it’s that there’s nothing that gives him life and spirit like seeing the face of his girls.

“There’s nothing I can imagine giving me more spirit, more confidence, more courage, and more bravery than knowing he’s in the audience,” she said.

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