Man gets Bloomsday T-shirt following cardiac arrest on course - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Man gets Bloomsday T-shirt following cardiac arrest on course

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SPOKANE, Wash. -

More than 38,000 people hit the pavement to take on the Bloomsday race Sunday, but at least two of them didn’t finish because of a cardiovascular issue.

We spoke with the family of Jerry Stafford on Monday. Safford had a cardiac arrest at mile marker 3.5 and is lucky to be alive after a pair of Bloomsday runners, who happened to be nurses, saw Stafford hit the pavement and proceeded to perform CPR until medics arrived.

The 59-year-old's family says even though he didn’t finish the race, he really wanted his T-shirt.

It is against Bloomsday policy to issue shirts to runners who don’t cross the finish line. KHQ was under the impression that they had made an exception, but that is not the case. Stafford's wife tells us that someone who knows the family donate their shirt to Stafford so he could have one.

KHQ reached out to the nurses who declined to comment on camera, but say they didn’t do anything exceptional, it’s just part of being a nurse.

Stafford had a successful double bypass surgery Tuesday morning, and doctors say he’s a very lucky man.

According to the Spokane County Medical Examiners Office, Cardiovascular issues are the number one natural cause of death.

Last year, 81 people died due to a cardiovascular condition.

Doctors say it’s not uncommon for people to have heart attacks or cardiac arrests during Bloomsday, and say it’s a good reminder to pay attention to the signs, and get frequent checkups.

Cardiologists say common signs of heart conditions include dizziness, chest pain, and skin discoloration.

They say diet, exercise, and family history are important to pay attention too, but say if you plan on exercising, don’t jump into an intense workout. Instead, it’s better to start off slow and make a gradual increase in activity. 

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