A Portland Marathon runner who collapsed after going into cardiac arrest a week ago met the woman who administered CPR for him on the course.
Kirstyn Rossman is a nurse at Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center in Tualatin. The reunion happened at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland where Dave Brenner has been the last week.
Brenner just got out of the hospital on Saturday, and before heading back to Colorado, knew he wanted to meet his miracle worker.
Rossman said of all the events she prepared for ahead of her first marathon, never once did she think about saving someone’s life.
“All the scenarios that you think, ‘OK, what if I get a blister? What if I get hungry?’ Those are the things you prepare for. Those are the scenarios you prepare for. Never once did I think, ‘What would I do if someone collapses in front of me?’” she said.
One week ago, Brenner was getting ready to run marathon number 138. He and his girlfriend, Lisa Douglas, were around mile 13 when he went into cardiac arrest.
However, Douglas was ahead of Brenner and didn’t see him collapse.
“I felt nothing. I felt fine. I just got dizzy,” said Brenner.
Rossman, who was running in the opposite direction, said it was her first time doing CPR outside of the hospital. Just steps beyond Brenner, and she could’ve missed him.
“If you hadn’t been there, who knows, you know. No idea what would’ve happened,” Brenner told Rossman after they sat down to talk.
Rossman said her being there was not by chance. She believes they were meant to be in the same place.
“I really believe we were destined to meet at that time,” she said.
Brenner said, “She’s full of life, full of energy… perfect person.”
He survived four heart attacks before the marathon and, without Rossman, he says he may have not have lived.
“There’s no doubt she saved my life. None,” he said.
Brenner said because of Rossman’s quick thinking, he has no brain damage. He said he’ll remain active, but says the Portland Marathon was his last marathon.
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