Oregon Doctor Is Half-Marathon Lifesaver

PHOTO: Dr. Laochamroonvorapongse, or Dr. Lao, finished a half marathon and immediately helped save the life of a runner who had collapsed at the finish line.
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An Oregon doctor who had just finished a half-marathon helped save the life of a fellow runner who had collapsed at the race’s finish line.

Anesthesiologist Dr. Dean Laochamroonvorapongse -- a.k.a. Dr. Lao -- was a runner in New York City’s annual half marathon on Sunday.

He finished the race in in 1 hour, 48 minutes and 18 seconds—good for 4828th place.

It’s a good thing he finished back in the pack.

Shortly after crossing the finish line, Dr. Lao noticed a man had collapsed near the finish line.

"I took maybe two breaths and saw this man lying on the floor, and then I just ran over," Dr. Lao told ABC News affiliate KATU-TV. "I had to do it, he was unconscious, without a pulse and not breathing so if he was unattended for a few minutes that would have been very grave."

As paramedics arrived, Dr. Lao helped the man breathe again by opening his airway as paramedics shocked his heart. Soon after, the 43-year-old runner began to breathe again.

"No pulse, unconscious, not breathing is technically dead," Dr. Lao said.

The collapsed runner was taken to a local hospital. Dr. Lao said he was told Monday the man is alert, awake and in stable condition, KATU reported.

"When you see someone down on the ground like that, especially anesthesiologists and other physicians, we get this rush of adrenaline," Dr. Lao told KATU. "You just have to step in and help."

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