OHSU doctor helps save runner's life at New York's half-marathon

OHSU doctor helps save runner's life at New York's half-marathon »Play Video
Dr. Dean Laochamroonvorapongse, a.k.a., Dr. Lao, speaks to KATU News via phone from New York.

NEW YORK -- A runner collapsed after crossing the finish line at Sunday's half-marathon in New York City.

He was unconscious, had no pulse and was not breathing. 

You could say the 43-year-old man had died.

And then he came back to life with the help of another runner from Portland:  Dr. Dean Laochamroonvorapongse, a.k.a., Dr. Lao.

He just happened to cross the finish line moments after the other man collapsed.

"When you see someone down on the ground like that, especially anesthesiologists and other physicians, we get this rush of adrenaline," he said on the phone from New York.  "You just have to step in and help."

Dr. Lao helped the runner breathe by opening his airway while another woman performed chest compressions.

Paramedics took the man to the hospital after he started breathing again and his pulse returned. On Monday, Dr. Lao says he was told the runner is alert, awake and stable.

If Dr. Lao had a chart, it would probably look like this:

21 - Letters in last name.

6 - Syllables in last name.

3 - Letters in his "abbreviated" last name listed on official OHSU identification card.

2.5 -- Years worked as pediatric anesthesiologist at OHSU's Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

1 -- Number of times Dr. Lao volunteered to assist a sick passenger on an airplane.

1 hour, 48 minutes, 18 seconds -- Time he took to run the New York City Half-Marathon.

20,790 -- Number of runners who also finished Sunday's race.

4,828th -- Dr. Lao's place.

0 - Number of cold drinks enjoyed by Dr. Lao after finishing the 13.1-mile course.

31 - Temperature in New York City during race, according to official results.

2 -- Number of relaxing breaths Dr. Lao says he took after crossing the finish line before seeing the runner on the ground.

1 - Number of shocks given to collapsed runner's heart by paramedics.

100s - Number of children benefiting from Dr. Lao's treatment at OHSU.

1 - Number of lives saved steps away from half-marathon finish line.