NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Manhattan woman’s brush with death inspired her to change her life through running.

It came like a bolt from the blue for Elizabeth Myuello.

“I was healthy, I wasn’t overweight,” she says. “I never drink or do drugs.”

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond with Elizabeth Myuello

At 28-years-old, the Argentinian native suffered a heart attack brought on by an infection.

“I just started feeling really bad about myself,” Myuello told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond. “Like, anything could happen at any time again. I was very insecure, I started having panic attacks.”

Against medical advice, she began jogging.

“I thought in my own little fantasy world if I could run, my heart would be OK,” she says. “I was so sure my heart was going to have to get stronger or it would explode.”

It did get stronger, and two years after her health scare, Myuello ran her first half-marathon.

“I was a little scared. Obviously, my doctors were against it, telling me not to do it, that I was suicidal and I was going to be in the paper on Monday morning,” she said.

Myuello has since run three New York City marathons and two ultra-marathons over 26 miles.

“For me, at least, it’s about quality of life and not quantity,” she says. “I don’t want to be in a world where I can’t do what I love to do. This is what I really, really love to do.”

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