Paramedic reflects on saving IL Marathon runner from heart attack

URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A man is recovering after suffering a cardiac arrest during the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.

Fellow runners quickly stepped in to help him. Witnesses said the incident happened in Meadowbrook Park. The man passed out in the middle of the race — but there was one man running behind him who was a former paramedic.

Race Recap: 2024 Christie Clinic Illinois Race Weekend

“God put it in the right place at the right time with the right prior training to do what was necessary in the moment,” said Alan Stenger, who rescued the man.

Two local firefighters are also being honored by the Urbana Fire Department for their success in rescuing the man. Calvin Kerns of the Urbana Fire Department and Sean Manuel of the Champaign Fire Department were praised for their quick and effective response.

“The swift actions and teamwork between event staff, first responders and bystanders lead to a positive outcome,” the Urbana Fire Department wrote in a Facebook post.

Race officials said there were a higher number of medical incidents this year, most likely because of the humidity.

The Red Cross said with half a million cardiac arrests each year, CPR increases the likelihood of surviving.

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