• By Dana Sparks

In the Loop: Saving a Life While Barely Breaking Stride

October 7, 2015

group of runners in a race

This article first appeared In the Loop September 29, 2015

For the first 12 miles, Rochester's inaugural Med City Fall Half Marathon was very much business as usual for running mates, and Mayo Clinic nurses, Megan Kluczny, Matt Goens, Lorelei Hanson and Ann Nepstad. But then, as The Med City Beat tells it, the four members of Team R.E.D., a running group out of nearby Byron, Minnesota, came upon a fellow racer in sudden cardiac arrest. It stopped them in their collective tracks.

At that point, Goens — who was training for an upcoming full marathon and who had just finished a 12-hour night shift at Mayo Clinic before putting on his running shoes — says instincts and training kicked in and the nurses ran to the man and immediately began performing CPR. "We didn't think twice about what to do in order to respond to the situation, or in other words, 'assign tasks,'" he says. "It all came together as the situation unfolded and as we performed CPR."

That coming together, The Med City Beat reports, included staying with the man and continuing to perform chest compressions until paramedics arrived, at which point the fallen runner was "transported to the hospital," where he was later "listed in stable condition." For Goens, that outcome couldn't have been better, or more rewarding. "I never expected to run across a situation like this, but I'm glad that I was there along with Megan, Lorelei and Ann to help save a life," he says. "It means a lot to me when a life is saved in a hospital, but when it happens outdoors where no medical equipment is available right away, that's extraordinary."

And in case you're wondering, The Med City Beat reports that after helping the man, Goens, Kluczny, Hanson and Nepstad went on to finish the 13.1-mile race, which to us is also quite extraordinary.

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