Bystander revives marathon runner having heart attack

The man collapsed near mile 15 of the Portland marathon

Spectators along the route at the Portland Marathon, October 8, 2017 (KOIN)
Spectators along the route at the Portland Marathon, October 8, 2017 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A runner in Sunday morning’s Portland Marathon performed CPR and helped revive a fellow participant who collapsed while suffering a heart attack, according to Portland Fire and Rescue.

Kirstyn Rossman was near mile 15 of her first ever marathon, when she saw the man fall to the ground.

“Right away I could tell that he needed assistance,” said Rossman, who is a nurse. “I started yelling for help and it wasn’t very long until he stopped breathing and I started CPR.”

Several other bystanders joined her, supporting the man’s head and doing anything they could to help, Rossman said.

Medical personnel stationed at the course arrived and took over and performed further live-saving measures. The man was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for further treatment.

But Rossman didn’t know if she wanted to finish the marathon.

“I was pretty upset and I called my husband and I said, ‘I can’t finish. I can’t do it.’ And he said, ‘You’ve worked so hard. Just, you know, just try,’” she said. “And the thing I thought about was, here’s this gentleman that didn’t get to finish. So that’s what I thought about, is that I was gonna try and finish it because he couldn’t.”

Rossman said she’s wondered about the man she helped, and would love to see how he’s doing, if he’s interested.