This recap was submitted by Run Oregon reader Kelly Uhacz. Feel free to Submit a Guest Post in the “Contact Us” tab if you want to get involved.
On July 21, 2013, I suffered a Sudden Cardiac Death during the Harvest Hay 8k in Battle Ground. Thankfully, two nurses were running behind me and started CPR immediately. A police officer also stopped within minutes and radioed for EMS. I would begin turning blue whenever they stopped CPR and checked for a pulse. After 15 minutes of CPR and being shocked 3 times, they were able to get a weak pulse and take me to the hospital. Things were very serious for 36 hours, then, I began to improve. I was on a heart pump for two days and on a ventilator and in a coma for five days. I awoke with pneumonia and broken ribs from the CPR. I was moved from ICU the next day – the day of the anniversary to my wife Sara. . She said it was the best anniversary present ever.
Always the optimist, Sara asked the doctor while still in the ER, if I would be up for the 32 mile bike ride we had planned in two weeks. The doctor paused then responded, “I like your positive attitude, but I don’t think he’ll be ready.” After 11 days, I was walking utilizing a walker and was able to be released from the hospital. The race director of the Harvest Hay race hand delivered my medal to me the day I came home. I started walking a couple of laps a day inside our house, then progressed to walking on the treadmill. In September 2013, I began Cardiac Rehab and by December I was running on the treadmill.
In March 2014, I ran my first 5k again with my wife, Cherise Moore (the nurse who started CPR) and many of her friends. And then on July 20, 2014, I ran the Harvest Hay 8k with Sara, Cherise and her fiancé. Finishing the Harvest Hay 8k was a challenge left unanswered in 2013, but this year, we ran at a comfortable pace and enjoyed the experience. The race was well organized, with plenty of volunteers, food and activities at the start/finish area and the finisher medals were great. The course has a couple of challenging hills on beautiful country roads, with little traffic. Thanks to the runners who administered CPR, the EMS personnel and many talented doctors and nurses who cared for me, I was able to return to running and am looking forward to many more events.