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'So blessed to be here': Minnesota runner home and recovering after suffering cardiac arrest during Boston Marathon

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 is to take second place, it would be running.

"I've been doing marathons for 12-plus years," Meghan said.

The Twin Cities resident has finished 13 marathons and even qualified for the Olympic Trials during the 2019 Boston Marathon, which she couldn't wait to conquer again after giving birth.

Meghan trained and ran a half marathon in preparation. 

"As far as I knew I was in the best shape of my life," she said.

That's how it felt for the first seven miles last week in Boston.

But then, on mile eight, she suddenly felt fuzzy and blacked out.

"Everything seemed completely fine, so it was literally seconds and I was collapsed to the ground," Meghan said. She had gone into cardiac arrest. 

"Meghan was blue in the face when I got there," said Tanner Smith from Las Vegas.

Thankfully, Smith, a physician's assistant, and Nick Haney, a firefighter from Oregon, were running close behind her in the race. The friends took turns performing CPR.

"I had looked down at Meghan and once Tanner had taken over, that's when I could tell her color had come back. The compressions were doing what we needed them to do," 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 sunk in, she thought of Jaxon. 

"Just the thought of never seeing him again, it's just the worst feeling in the world and I'm just so blessed 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 for you two. You two definitely saved my life. So I can't thank you enough," Meghan said to the two men over a Zoom call.

But just seeing this mother and 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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