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Minnesota runner survived cardiac arrest during Boston Marathon

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Olympic trial qualifier Meghan Roth went into cardiac arrest during the marathon but was saved by two runners who saw her collapse.

MINNEAPOLIS — Motherhood is Meghan Roth’s new passion, but if anything had to take second place, it would be running.

“I’ve been running marathons for over 12 years,” Meghan said.

The Twin Cities resident has completed 13 marathons and even qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 2019 Boston Marathon, which she was eager to conquer again after giving birth.

Meghan trained and ran a half marathon in preparation.

“As far as I know, I was in the best shape of my life,” she said.

That’s how I felt on the first seven miles last week in Boston.

But then, at mile eight, she suddenly felt fuzzy and passed out.

“Everything seemed perfectly fine, so it was literally seconds and I collapsed to the floor,” Meghan said. She had suffered a cardiac arrest.

“Meghan was blue-faced when I arrived,” said Tanner Smith from Las Vegas.

Fortunately, Smith, a medical assistant, and Nick Haney, a firefighter from Oregon, were running right behind her in the race. The friends took turns performing CPR.

“I had watched Meghan and once Tanner took over, that’s when I could tell her color was back. The cuts were doing what we needed,” Haney said.

Meghan woke up in the ambulance – angry and frustrated.

“There were so many emotions at once,” she said.

But when the near-death experience set in, she thought of Jaxon.

“Just the thought of never seeing him again is just the worst feeling in the world and I’m so lucky to be here. I’m so happy to be home,” she said.

Happy to be home and happy to thank those who helped save her.

“I’m so grateful to you. You definitely saved my life. So I can’t thank you enough,” Meghan told the pair on a Zoom call.

But just seeing this mother and her baby smiling is all they need.

“That’s the biggest thank you — for me — just seeing her with her son is the biggest thank you,” Haney said.

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