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SALT LAKE CITY — A man who began a journey to bike across America earlier this year, as a way of saying thank you to those who had saved his life, is back home in Utah.
Although there were several obstacles along the way, Bob Quick reached his goal this past week. Instead of riding his bicycle home, though, he flew, and was welcomed back Saturday by family and friends at Salt Lake International airport.
Nine years ago, Quick ran two successful businesses but used his profits to fund a drug addiction.
"Me and him sat down one day and we talked about how much money he may have spent over that time, and we concluded (it was) $1.3 million," said Bowen Gines, quick's friend.
The money wasted was minor compared to the status of Quick's health. He suffered a massive heart attack and was dead for 3 1/2 minutes before paramedics resuscitated him.
"We were — with the quality paramedics we have, and drugs and technology — able to bring Bob back," Roy City Fire Chief Jason Poulsen said in an October interview with KSL.
I think we can prove to people now that have disabilities, that you can overcome anything.
–Bob Quick, cyclist
Since that day, Quick vowed to take his life in a different direction. One decision he made was to bike across America, from coast to coast, to send a message.
"I did something that most people can," Quick said. "I think we can prove to people now that have disabilities, that you can overcome anything. Get up off the couch, get the endorsements flowing; you can do anything."
Quick was expecting to arrive in St. Augustine, Fla., by Thanksgiving Day. But due to his heart complications, he didn't reach his destination until Dec. 3.
Still, his team is celebrating the fact that he accomplished something that's never been done before.
"We did 3,157 miles exactly to the beach, coast to coast," Quick said. "Sixteen heart stints and a pacemaker defib — I'm the very first person to do it unassisted."
With this chapter closed, Quick said he's not done with his journey.
"I'm going to finish raising that million dollars," he said. "We didn't come close, so I'm not giving up."