The Monday That Changed My Life….

Hi Friends,

I would like to share something very important with all of you my runner friends.

I had recently gone to attend The South Asian convention of our company at Pattaya, Thailand. I was there from 30th April till 6th May.  Since I could not run the whole week, my colleague Nick from China and I decided to go for a long run on 5th May which was a Monday. A Monday I will never forget and which has impacted my life and guided me to the path I want to take going forward.

Nick is a good runner and runs 42 in under 4 hours and fit by any fitness standard.  Nick had already finished his breakfast and was waiting for me at the lobby when I arrived. We met at 5.45 am.  After a little bit of stretching we both hit the road. It was more of a chit chat run, we both were enjoying our pace and were sharing our experiences while running.  My Garmin showed 9.3 km and I told nick that we will make a U turn when we reach 10km. Nick told me that he wanted to take a break and have water and urged me to go ahead and complete my 10 km mark . I came running back after the 10k turn and saw Nick walking so I joined him, I asked him if he was ok and he told me he was fine. We were walking and talking for some distance and I told him that we would start running again whenever he was ready. We had another 4 to 5 km to return back to our hotel.

After walking for 5 min or so we started running again. While we were running Nick was telling me about his work in China, how he is used to work late hours, sometime he doesn’t get much time for running etc. We had almost reached the 12km mark when he suddenly said “wait!” and FELL DOWN , before I could realise what was happening and tried to get a hold of him he fell flat on the ground. I was shocked by what had happened and tried to do whatever came to my mind first. I made him sit and splashed water on his face and kept saying “NICK?..NICKK??..open your eyes, please talk to me..NICK?..NICK??..  are you Ok??, can you hear me?? NICK..NICKK!!”.  This sounded far even to my own ears and was not aware if any of my words were reaching him at all.

His eyes were closed and he was breathing very hard. He started making some noise with his mouth wide open, his hands and legs became stiff, people who gathered around were trying to help me as much as possible to revive him. Somebody put a spoon in his mouth assuming he was having fits. Some of them were applying balm on his neck and making him sniff it. I could see people around were very concerned and very helpful. When I checked his pulse, it was beating frantically, his hands and legs were getting stiffer and yellowish in colour and he was gasping for breath.

After a while the people around and me took turns and tried CPR and mouth to mouth respiration to revive him, simultaneously when I was doing this I was asking people to call for transport or Ambulance to take him to the hospital.

People around were doing the best they could, after all it was a life in front of us which was trying to stay alive. I could see some people on the road who were controlling the traffic and with their wireless were calling out for help in Thai language. The Ambulance eventually arrived and we were on our way to the hospital. He was taken straight to the ICU and was given CPR.

I heaved a sigh of relief when he was finally in the hands of the medics because even though all of us did our best they were the professionals who would keep him alive. The shock was slowly leaving me and realisation of what happened and could have happened hit me. I realised my Garmin was still on so I switched it off. It seemed like a lifetime from the time Nick fell on the road to the time I handed him over but my Garmin reading said 21 minutes.  He started breathing partially after 30 minutes or so and they shifted him to another hospital to check his Cardio. The results showed that he had one blockage in his chest and out of three tumours one burst in his stomach and there was internal bleeding too.

I have been keeping in touch with his folks up on his progress and alas last week I have got to know that he has had multiple organ failure and they have given him a few days to live. 

I did my best, I gave it my 100% but it was beyond my hands to save him.

This incident really shook me at the same time I become a strong person. These are the following things I assessed must have gone wrong with Nick even though he was a fit runner.

  1. I think he did not do his whole body check-up regularly, if he would have done his body check-up he would have known about blockage and tumours and also he would have taken care about his blood pressure too.
  2. Too much of work in the previous week stressed him out maybe he didn’t have proper sleep too. His blood pressure was high, but he used to think that if he runs he feels nice.
  3. When he stopped at 9.3 km he must have got the indication but never disclosed it to me. That’s the blunder all runners do, because of many reasons runners hesitation to disclose to the other runner that they are feeling tired or they are feeling uneasiness.

If one don’t feel comfortable to keep up with the runner who run along with you or if one feel any kind of uneasiness, please reduce the speed or walk for some time, if not that movement might be your last movement of your life. I am sorry to be very blunt. If you have done routine medical check-up then fine carry on.

I have learned the following things from this incident:

  1. In case of an emergency like this immediately look for some transport to move the person to the nearest hospital, and on the way to hospital keep doing the CPR till you reach the hospital. Please consult the doctor for details. http ://depts.washington.edu/learncpr/index. html
  2. Always carry Emergency contact number and blood group details when you are running.
  3. Please learn personally how to do CPR, you can save somebodies life because of this.
  4. Its normal tendency, if you are doing any sort of exercise or if you are a runner, people say that you run so much you can eat anything, you will easily burn it out. I feel it’s a wrong perception.  I was suffering with high cholesterol problem till last 6 months, I have been running since almost 10 years now. Doctor told me that running or any physical exercise won’t reduce cholesterol. Now my cholesterol is normal because of my diet.
  5. Each person’s body type is different, so one should learn to listen to their body.

Outside you may looking very fit and unless you do your medical you won’t know what is store for you inside your body.

 

I have decided to make “Healthy Running” my mission, I don’t want any other runner to die because he is unaware of his health issues or neglecting his health. It is my personal agenda to create this awareness and have asked my doctor friends who are runners to join this crusade to spread awareness. 

I urge you to do your bit to save a runner friend.     Happy Running Guys!

 

This was clicked on that Monday Morning before the run. 

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Comment by Shruti SIngh on September 9, 2014 at 18:08

Really an informative article.. we definitely need to listen to our body. As a runner we always try to stretch ourselves a bit but I think the problem is we are not able to identify at upper limit (till what level shoud l we stretch ourselves) that's when our body suffers. and as you said regular health checkups are must.

Comment by saurabh raye on September 4, 2014 at 17:11

Thanks for sharing this. As you rightly pointed out..there is adifference between running and healthy running. A good eyeopener .

Comment by Ankit Dhasmana on August 4, 2014 at 17:01

Thanks for all this information Satish. Though the lifestyle here is changing for good, many of us still need to learn many of the ifs & buts of it.

Comment by Meera Patil on July 29, 2014 at 11:25

thanks for sharing this, becuase none of us are not really listning to our OWN body.

Comment by Kranti on July 27, 2014 at 20:24

Thanks for sharing this experience. it is an eye opener. Hope your friend Nick recovers and back to normal life.

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