Strangers help save N.S. man whose heart stopped after running half-marathon
CTVNews.ca Staff, with a report from CTV Atlantic's Heidi Petracek
Published Tuesday, June 11, 2019 7:25PM EDT
A Halifax man who collapsed shortly after finishing a half-marathon over the weekend has a group of bystanders to thank for potentially saving his life.
Shawn Quigley finished the Blue Nose Marathon in Halifax in 02:10:57.1 on Sunday, but he collapsed after crossing the line as his heart stopped.
“I saw the finish line, so I started to sprint,” Quigley told CTV Atlantic from his hospital room. “Then I finally finished, I slowed down and just blacked out. The last thing I remember is crossing the finish line.”
Quigley’s been told if it weren’t for a group of bystanders – including two medical professionals -- who happened to be watching the race, he might not have made it. They apparently both sprang into action to help before the on-site paramedics arrived to the scene.
“From what I was told, (paramedics) did CPR on me for 10 minutes and shocked me four times,” he said.
Quigley was rushed to hospital, where he’s been ever since. Doctors still have yet to determine what exactly happened to him.
On Tuesday, Quigley met one of the people credited with saving his life. Amber Humes was the lead for the medical staff at the marathon, but gives all the credit to the bystanders who first noticed a problem.
“Without those bystanders and volunteers present, able to recognize immediately that something was gravely wrong, then we wouldn't have potentially had the outcome that we did,” she said.
Medical emergencies at long-distance running events can be fairly common. Just over two weeks ago, a 35-year-old man died after going into cardiac arrest near the finish line of a marathon in Ottawa.
A 60-year-old man also collapsed after completing the Chilly Half Marathon in Burlington, Ont. back in March. He was told he faced months of recovery before he could return to work.
Quigley said he’s since identified three people who jumped in to save his life and plans to meet them.
“I want to meet each and every one them and thank them for what they did,” he said.
Quigley added he intends to run in the Blue Nose Marathon again, but will closely monitor his health throughout the race.