Portland Marathon runner who collapsed honored with medal; surpr - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland Marathon runner who collapsed honored with medal; surprises woman who saved him

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In October, a Portland Marathon runner who collapsed met the woman who saved his life.

On Friday, the two were reunited again, with a few surprises in store.

It was an emotional day for runner Dave Brenner and Kirstyn Rossman, as they have a unique bond.

She’s a nurse at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center, and thought she was just speaking at an event Friday.

Brenner thought he was just there to surprise and support her, but both were completely overwhelmed with what was actually in store for them.

As a nurse, Kirstyn Rossman still thinks about the day she saved a fellow runner near mile 13 of the Portland Marathon, after he went into cardiac arrest.

“So many things had to line up for us to be there. And what if he ran this much slower, I ran this much faster. I took one less aid, he took one more. If any of those variables would’ve happened, it wouldn’t have turned out the same,” Rossman said.

On Friday morning, she thought she was at Legacy Meridian Park to promote the American Heart Association Heart and Stroke Walk, but it turned out to be so much more.

A second reunion was in store for Brenner and his miracle worker, Rossman.

Not only was he there to support her as she received a surprise award, but Dave was also there to receive an award of his own. 

A Portland Marathon official gave him a finisher’s medal — something he wasn’t able to earn in October, because EMTs were busy restarting his heart.

Brenner was able to meet those emergency responders, and also the 911 operator who took the call in October.

The Metro West Ambulance EMTs brought with them the rhythm strip from their cardiac monitor.

“It’s good fate, yeah. If I ran faster, she would’ve never seen me. That’s why I run slow,” Brenner said.

Though that was Brenner’s last competitive marathon, he says he plans to walk the next.

“Next year we’re going to do the half marathon, but Kirstyn’s gonna go with us. Just as a security blanket,” he said.

Both Rossman and Brenner are advocates for citizen CPR, something first responders urged people to learn at Friday’s event. 

Local CPR classes are available on the American Red Cross website. Click here to find one.

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