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Firefighter stops mid-race to help fellow runner

<i>KPTV</i><br/>Nick Haney
Nick Haney

By Camila Orti

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    BOSTON (KPTV) — It wasn’t Nick Haney’s first Boston Marathon, but it may have been his most unique.

Haney, a firefighter in Gresham, was one of about 20,000 runners that took to the Boston streets on Monday for an unusual fall edition of the marathon which is traditionally held in April.

That’s not what made this race so interesting for Haney, who says he came across a runner down on the ground about 8 miles into the course.

“I could see that there’s somebody down and two people are helping that person,” Haney told FOX 12.

He says he quickly realized that this wasn’t a typical mid-race cramp.

“I take a closer look and realize that they’re actually doing CPR on her,” Haney said, “the woman is blue in the face.”

Haney said there was no question of whether to stop and help with more than a decade of firefighting and emergency medical experience.

The woman, runner Meghan Roth, was suffering from cardiac arrest.

“I didn’t feel a pulse at that point,” Haney said.

He says he took over and did a round of compressions, switching off with another person who was there helping. Haney says he also checked Roth’s bib for emergency contact information, which is when he realized he had met her before at previous marathons.

“That added another little twist to it,” Haney said, adding that Roth is a very strong runner who had qualified for the Olympic Trials.

Haney says more runners with medical backgrounds stopped to help before the EMTs arrived, including a doctor and a physician’s assistant.

“Her color was starting to come back so I knew that the compressions were adequate and doing what we needed them to do and we were giving her a fighting chance,” Haney said.

After the paramedics took over, Haney jumped right back into the race and finished his marathon.

Haney said he was able to get in touch with Roth after the ordeal to see how she was doing. According to a GoFundMe page set up for her family, Roth was taken to the hospital and stabilized, and later had a procedure to have a medical device implanted.

“She’s back home in Minnesota now with her family which is great,” Haney said. “In most cases, we don’t get follow-ups on how people turn out.”

Haney said he credits the people who stopped to help Roth before he got there for saving her life.

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