Doctor saves fellow runner's life during Great North Run, goes with him to hospital - then hitches lift back to finish race!

An intensive care consultant who helped save the life of a fellow runner before going back to complete the Great North Run has described it as "just a normal day".

Friday, 14th September 2018, 8:10 am
Updated Friday, 14th September 2018, 8:22 am
Dr Chris Johnson, consultant in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care at Newcastles Royal Victoria Infirmary

Dr Chris Johnson, who is also an army reservist, was running will fellow members of his 201 Field Hospital team when he stopped to help the runner after seeing commotion at the six mile mark of the half marathon.

"I got to about the six mile mark of the run and I saw there was a runner who had collapsed at the side of the road," he said.

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"People were already doing CPR and resuscitation, so I stopped to help."

As a medic with the Great North Air Ambulance, Dr Johnson has been trained to provide immediate medical assistance to patients at the scene of an emergency.

“There was a police unit nearby and they brought a defibrillator, which was really the thing that saved his life.

"He got a couple of electric shocks from the defibrillator and his heart started to beat again.”

Once the ambulance arrived, Dr Johnson and the ambulance crew were able to further assess the patient and trace his heart rhythm with a monitor. The team decided the patient would need further specialist care.

“We decided it would be better to go to the specialist unit at the Freeman Hospital, I phoned them up to explain the situation. They accepted him, so I took the patient with the ambulance crew up to the Freeman," he said.

After handing the patient over to the specialist teams at the Freeman Hospital, the ambulance crew kindly dropped Dr Johnson back to the point in the run where he had stopped, to finish the half marathon.

Despite taking the patient to hospital, Dr Johnson was still able to complete the run in good time, he said: “My official time is around 3 hours 59. I was away from the race for about an hour 45, so I think I managed to complete it in around about 2 hours 15.”

The patient is recovering at the Freeman Hospital.