"You came in as early as you possibly could. You were extremely lucky," Kadel said.

So why did this happen to Mark?

"Mark's a hard-driving guy and that's a risk. And, he's had some things going on recently that have been stressful, that's a bit of a risk. The most modifiable one? Smoking," Kadel said.

Peterson has been smoking for the last 30 years.

"People ask me why I haven't smoked, and I'm like 'Because it killed me. It killed me once, I'm not going to let it do it again," Peterson said.

"A heart attack is a darned good way to quit smoking, but I don't recommend it," Kadel said.

It's now been three months since he suffered his near-fatal heart attack and Peterson is a changed man.

"Now I'm rowing, I'm doing lunges, I'm lifting weights," he said.

"He's taken this as a wake-up call and an opportunity, while he's still a hard-driving guy, which is why everybody loves him, I think," Kadel said. "He's not smoking, he's exercising, he's paying attention to what he eats. He's doing everything he can to keep this from happening again. It's not a guarantee, but all you can do is the best you can do."

Mark: "That's gotta be the coolest thing in the world to walk away from something like this."

Dr. Kadel: "Not everybody gets two cracks at it, so you've gotta make the best of it, don't you?"

Mark: "Yeah."

While Mark was fighting for his life and as he's continued on the road to recovery ever since, his family has been supporting him every step of the way.

"Matthew was like, you're cool? Everything's fine, he's like OK ...  alright. Tillman, the minute I saw him, I was like 'Hey dude.' He said, 'Hey dude, you alright?' I go 'Yeah, gonna be home Friday.' That was it, he was good to go," Peterson said.

"Like a month ago, he [Tillman] came up to me and said, 'I'm so proud of you dad, for not smoking.' And, it just kills me. Every time I think about what a stupid habit that is and how it killed me once, I'm not gonna have it happen again."

"My 19-year old son was really affected by this. And, it freaked him out, and it scared him and he was thinking about what it would be like if I wasn't there and all of that. We had to have long talks about if I hadn't come back, what I would have expected of him. And that was hard. You really talking about something you've never talked about with anyone, now I'm telling my son, if something happens, and it's not, but you have to do that."

"Everything in this case went strictly as well as it possibly could and we came up with something that worked pretty darn well," Kadel said.

Now, with the morning of Oct. 24 in the rear view mirror, Peterson has returned to his usual, jovial self at the office.

"The first couple times we see each other, it's kinda like, 'Hey, still alive, right?'" Larsen laughed.

Beyond the laughing, jovial person that people see on Good Morning Northwest every morning, Peterson came back from his brush with death with something more: A new outlook on life.

"I'm blessed that I get to just get up and go … and it's a free pass," he said. "I appreciate things more, and, this year, I'm going to do better for myself, which I wouldn't have done or hadn't done previously to that. I'm going to make my life more enjoyable, which will, in turn, make my children's lives more enjoyable. That's my goal."