A man who collapsed during this year’s BMO Sunshine Coast April Fool’s Run has credited two Coast residents for saving his life.
When 42-year-old Dave Montgomery lost consciousness during the 21-km run from Gibsons to Sechelt April 1, he was fortunate to have Dr. Andrea Stinson behind him, who was also competing in the event.
Even though Mont-gomery had little recollection of what transpired that fateful day, he knew well enough to thank Stinson and paramedic Kellei Baker for stepping in to perform CPR on him before he was sent to hospital.
“All the bad stuff, I don’t even remember,” Mont-gomery said.
He has since been diagnosed with genetic arrhythmia, a mysterious heart condition that can make itself known during periods of physical exertion, such as running a marathon.
Montgomery had been running for decades before the diagnosis. Doctors will likely examine his family members for signs of the genetically inherited and life-threatening disorder.
“I’ve had nothing health wise at all, completely boring health history,” he said. “I certainly am going to take a break until they tell me what’s what. I’ll need to do something, though, otherwise I’ll be 400 pounds.”
While Montgomery could not remember what happened after he reached the 18-km mark, his wife shared her recollection of the run.
Also competing in the race, Jackie had pulled ahead of her husband around the 16-km mark.
After finishing the race, she heard talk that one of the contestants had collapsed. When Dave did not come running past the finish line shortly after, she asked an RCMP officer for a description of the person.
“That’s how we found out it was Dave,” she said.
As luck would have it, Stinson was also competing in the race and found herself just behind Dave at the right time. She began performing CPR on him until Baker took over.
“That’s what I’m there for,” said Baker, the medic who attended him. “I had just gone to the end of the race, had turned around and within 30 seconds of him being on the ground, there were two police officers.”
Dave was rushed first to St. Mary’s Hospital where he was stabilized before being airlifted to Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver.
Jackie said it was “unbelievably fortunate” that Stinson and Baker were able to respond so quickly.
Dave has since been subjected to “a whole battery of cardiac tests,” all of which have come back normal.
Teresa Nightingale, the co-director of the April Fool’s Run, said Stinson and Baker’s response to the situation was almost immediate.
“He passed out, collapsed without warning,” Nightingale said. “Dr. Stinson happened to be running right behind him and immediately started CPR. Within one minute, Kellei was there and she continued it.”