A cardiologist competing in the California Half Marathon saved the lives of two runners undergoing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) after watching one man collapse in front of him and another at the finish line after finishing the race.
Stephen Lummy had never seen anyone suffer cardiac arrest during a street race and never expected to put his professional skills to use outside of work.
On November 13, while operating the Monterey Half Martin Bay in California, Lumi saved the lives of two men in their 50s and 60s.
He recounted the miraculous performance on Twitter, noting the “insane odds” of being in the right place at the right time for both men.
“What is the probability that two people in a race will suffer cardiac arrest? What are the chances of a full recovery?” Lumy wrote (usually, only 5 percent survive cardiac arrest in hospital).
“I am very honored to serve as a cardiologist and to use my training to benefit others, but I never expected that these skills would be needed in this way outside of work.”
Stephen Lummy had never seen anyone suffer cardiac arrest during a street race and never expected to use his professional skills outside of work.
Greg Gonzalez, 67, collapsed about 30 feet from Lumi while Michael Hillman, 56, of San Anselmo, California, collapsed at the finish line
Lummy said he remembered the moment he saw Greg Gonzalez, 67, of Vancouver, Washington, collapse 30 feet in front of him in the third mile of the race.
It was found that Gonzalez was not experiencing a simple fainting spell or flight, but that he was in cardiac arrest.
“CPR began, people called 911. The defibrillator arrived in about 6 minutes and the rhythm was ventricular fibrillation (a fatal arrhythmia),” he said.
“Shock and Restoration of Normal Heart Rhythm.”
The American Heart Association recommends hand-only CPR, in which the person doing the chest compressions is asked to press firmly and quickly into the center of the patient’s chest.
Hit the beat on the Bee Gees song “Stayin’ Alive,” Lummy told The Washington Post.
“It’s because that’s the right tempo,” he said.
Gonzalez woke up two to three minutes after being shocked by an automated external defibrillator (AED). He said the last thing he remembered from the race was speeding a third mile uphill.
But when he regained consciousness, he was in the back seat of an ambulance.
Lumi said the odds of surviving a cardiac arrest outside the hospital are only 5 percent. He commented that being in the race was one of the “crazy odds”.
He wrote about the heroic incident on Twitter, commenting that he was “honored” to be a cardiologist
“I felt fine, apart from the horrible chest pain, and they said the chest pain was from broken ribs from chest compressions,” Gonzalez told the newspaper.
Lumi continued the race and finished the half marathon in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 32 seconds.
But as soon as he crossed the finish line, Lomé wrote, he saw another runner come down in front of him.
“completely. No revival of the pulse began. Within one to two minutes, one of the race volunteers brought an AED and placed the pads on his chest.
“The recommended shock indicative of a fatal arrhythmia is back. One shock and I’ll reinstate chest compressions.
“He opens his eyes and says, ‘Why am I down here?'” He then proceeds to stop Strava on his watch and wants to get up.
Michael Hillman, 56, of San Anselmo, California, eventually collapsed and was taken to the hospital after being revived.
Both Gonzalez and Heilman are runners with a family history of heart attacks or heart disease.
Gonzalez’s father died of a heart attack at the age of 58, and his brother suffered a heart attack at 59.
“So I’ve been running and trying to keep my weight down and trying to eat the right foods,” he said.
Hillemann said his father, who died of heart disease three years ago, suffered a heart attack at the age of 56. His uncle and cousin also died of heart disease.
“They both suffer from an undiagnosed heart disease,” Lumy added, and neither of them “were discharged from the hospital and made a full recovery.”
Both men said they felt healthy before the race, but the fact that they both survived can be attributed in part to the quick work of bystanders doing CPR and the availability of epilepsy.
After thanking local medical volunteers, Lommy said the incidents drew national attention and provided lessons and reminders for runners of all skill levels.
“Kudos to the Race Medical Volunteers and the Big Sur Marathon Foundation for their efforts in organizing the event with many medical volunteers who are well trained and ready to serve,” he said.
“Being alert and ready to bring in an AED as soon as possible saved two lives. I still can’t believe this happened.
“That’s why we in America need to focus on preventing heart disease because for 1 in 3 people the first symptom of heart disease is sudden death, almost like these two people.”
Lumi used the incident as an opportunity to promote health and exercise, and was frequently seen on social media platforms promoting healthy living
Other posts on Lomes Twitter show that a cardiologist is trying to reduce the risk of serious illness, as seen in this post about colon cancer.
Lumi said that cutting out processed foods and focusing on unprocessed, plant-based foods is vital to your health.
“Exercise makes up only 20% of heart health, and diet is the most important part,” he added.
Living a healthy lifestyle “doesn’t make you immune to risk factors,” said Jonathan Kim, MD, an exercise cardiologist.
“In general, if you exercise a lot, and eat a healthy diet, you will control your cholesterol and blood pressure,” he said.
But there is nothing you can do to control your genes.
“If you have such a strong family history that you tell your doctor about it, so if you are over 40 or 50, it is very important that you get appropriate heart tests and an evaluation by a preventive cardiologist.”
Cardiologists also stress the importance of listening to your body and understanding potential risk factors and warning signs.
About a year and a half ago, Gonzalez said he felt a “little pinch of pain” in the right and left side of his chest.
The pain came and went.
He said, “Five seconds here, 20 seconds here, 30 seconds here, maybe a minute now and then.”
“Not more than five to ten times probably.”
Then, about eight months ago, Gonzalez had a “steady inch” of pain in his left bicep.
He shrugged off the pain and attributed it to other things like indigestion or sore muscles from lifting weights.
Looking back, he should have seen a doctor, Gonzalez said.
Sudden cardiac arrest is uncommon in road runners, according to a 2012 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The injury rate is 0.54 per 100,000 participants, with the rate significantly higher in marathons than in half marathons.
But the majority of cardiac arrests (71 percent) were fatal.
“A lot of people run marathons and do well,” Kim said.
“But if you haven’t done this before, you want to think about your risk factors and make sure all of that is addressed and under control.”
There were about 5,000 runners in the Monterey Bay Half Marathon, and both Gonzalez and Heilman said they plan to compete and finish the Monterey Bay Half Marathon next year.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11467897/Hero-cardiologist-saves-two-runners-went-cardiac-arrest-California-marathon.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 A heroic cardiologist Two runners who suffered cardiac arrest during the California Half Marathon are saved