Nameless Heroes

By: Lara Winburn

Lara Winburn In December, my brother-in-law ran a local half-marathon. 13.1 miles. That is an impressive accomplishment, but what happened after the race is truly impressive. He crossed the finish line and was waiting on his wife to finish, when he heard someone call for a paramedic.

Being a former ER nurse, my brother-in-law made his way toward the call for help. When he arrived, he found a young runner collapsed on the side of the course. No pulse, not breathing and clearly in trouble.  A spectator and off duty paramedic had also rushed to aid the collapsed runner.  Without hesitation, the spectator started compressions and my brother-in-law started mouth to mouth resuscitation. Together they worked tirelessly until an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) arrived and they shocked the patient’s heart back into a normal rhythm.

A HEARTBEAT was back. The runner survived.

An ambulance arrived minutes later to provide further assistance. Before he was taken to the hospital, the runner was shaken but was able to tell my brother-in-law a little about himself, where he worked and who would be looking for him to finish. He was alive and talking. Just like that, a terrifying situation had turned hopeful.

As the runner was taken to the nearest hospital, my brother-in-law and the spectator/off-duty paramedic exchanged a handshake and a “good job” before they headed their separate ways.

No fanfare, no accolades, just two strangers who knew CPR.

They knew CPR, they used CPR and a young man’s heart continues to beat. 

Attend Lexington Medical Center’s Heart Fair on Sunday, March 2nd and take a citizen CPR lesson.

For more information about the Heart Hair, visit

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