MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Peter Franklin is a doctor, but at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach, he’s also a patient.

On Friday, the Boston-based physician returned to South Florida to thank the doctors who saved his life one year ago.

“It’s so important for us to be able to thank these wonderful people. They gave us our life back,” Franklin said. “I really shouldn’t be here right now, I should have died.”

Franklin was on vacation in the Florida Keys when he noticed he wasn’t feeling well.

His doctor told him he should go to Mt. Sinai hospital for treatment.

While on the catheterization table, his trip took a life-threatening twist.

Dr. Franklin went into severe cardiac arrest.

“His heart stopped working,” Dr. Esteban Escolar said. “He was very lucky this happened at the right place at the right time.”

A team of experts, including Dr. Escolar, worked feverishly to save Franklin’s life.

They performed a series of intricate procedures that ultimately stabilized the blood flow to Dr. Franklin’s heart.

Doctors used therapeutic hypothermia (lowering body temperature to 34 degrees Celsius) to preserve brain function.

It was touch and go for a while, though.

“It was such a miracle that we were here and that Peter was on this table when he had the cardiac arrest,” Kathleen Franklin said as she looked at her husband. “Had he not been here in this place, he wouldn’t be here now.”

As a physician himself, Franklin knows just how remarkable his survival story truly is.

That’s why the doctor from New England wanted to mark this one year anniversary with the people who gave him a second chance at life.

“For us, it’s extremely powerful, it’s extremely meaningful, and it’s not a coincidence that we’re here on vacation this week,” Franklin said.

“It makes you proud. It makes you proud of what you do,” Dr. Escolar replied.

The State Agency for Health Care Administration reports Mt. Sinai has the best cardiac surgery survival rate of any hospital in Florida.


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