Parkway Running Club Members Save Man's Life During Downtown Road Race

Three Parkway Running Club members quickly jumped into action and saved an unknown man's life at a downtown 10K road race.


While working at a water stop during the road race on Sunday, three members saved a man's life.

"There were about 20 Parkway Running Club (PRC) members volunteering at the water stop to hand out water to the runners; there were about 5000 runners in the race.  At one point during the race, a runner ran up to the water stop and collapsed right in front of the PRC members giving out water," said Jim Sweeney, president of the PRC.

Three volunteers - Jill Hallisey, Reyna Lounsbury and Karen May - immediately jumped into action and found the man had no pulse, and began administering CPR. 

"I am a nurse practitioner as is Reyna, and Karen is a PT so he fell in just the right spot! I just did what I had to do," said Hallisey. "It is funny, I was not nervous at all. I just was not going to let this guy die in front of me. And I kept checking for a pulse over and over trying to convince myself that it was there, but it was not. When Reyna said again she could not find a pulse, 'I said let's do it' and we started the CPR."

A Boston Athletic Association volunteer at the water station radioed quickly for Boston EMTs to come to the water station near the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Berkeley Street. The Boston Athletic Association also puts on the Boston Marathon, and was the organizer of the 10K road race.

About four-tenths of a mile from the finish, the three Parkway Running Club volunteers continued CPRs for several minutes. Another runner, and an emergency room nurse, also stopped to assist, said Sweeney. 

"They kept the fallen runner alive until Boston EMS and the ambulance could arrive. There were Boston EMS medics on bikes patrolling the course during the race. They had a defibrillator with them and used it on the fallen runner when they arrived," said Sweeney.  

The Parkway Running Club members still don't know the man's name who they saved.

"We understand from the BAA that he stayed overnight at the hospital and that that he is now doing well. We don't know the name of the runner who collapsed or the other runner who came to assist doing CPR, " said Sweeney.

Added Hallisey, "I have been thinking about it ever since, like it was a dream and it did not really happen. I am just SO thankful we were there when he went down. I would like to meet him some day!"

For more information on the Parkway Running Club check out their page.

Anna Rubin June 27, 2012 at 07:43 PM
Great story. Keep us posted on this one, please.
Ann Marie Rivard June 28, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I was one of the runners who stopped to give this man CPR. I haven't stopped thinking about him since that day. I'm so happy and relieved he is ok.
David Ertischek (Editor) June 28, 2012 at 03:04 PM
Hello Ann, If you email me at davide@patch.com I can help you get in touch with the man. David


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