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Volunteer saves heart patient at half marathon finish line

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Posted at 7:50 PM, Jun 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-20 21:50:20-04

AMERICAN FORK, Utah – A Utah man who ran a half marathon to help save the lives of cancer patients nearly lost his own life at the finish line.

Carl Gallegos signed up for the American Fork Canyon Half Marathon to help cancer patients pay for their treatments.

Just as he completed the race, Gallegos started feeling light-headed. He went to an aid station where nurse Lori Bertelsen gave him some water, and that’s the last thing he remembers.

“The next thing I remember, I was waking up and Lori was hanging over me asking me how I was. I said I was okay, but the sternum area of my chest was really sore. She apologized to me and said she thinks she broke my ribs by doing the CPR,” Gallegos said.

Bertelsen says Gallegos had no pulse, then his breathing stopped. Her quick actions helped save Gallegos’ life until paramedics could arrive.

Gallegos says participating in the race may have saved his life. He goes for a 10-mile run every Saturday and he could have been running alone when the attack happened.