The Georges in Peru

Jogger Finds Body

08 Jan 2017

Okay, I guess it should be 'Joggers Find Body', but I'm getting ahead of myself.  

Today's run was supposed to be Paul's 15K run in preparation for his first half marathon in 3 weeks.  My friend, Dr. Wayne Centrone joined us.  We were letting Paul set the pace and were just along for dog control.  A little past the 2-mile point we saw a few people on the side of the road with a Sachaca Seguridad (the local municipality security) car stopped on the road.  As we approached, I could see a body on the side of the road so I told Paul, "Sorry, Paul.  We gotta stop.  Pause your Garmin."   Several years ago I made a conscious deal with myself that I will always stop to render aid for bodies on the road, even if I'm 10 meters away from setting a new marathon personal record.  (Okay, maybe 50 meters away from setting a record.  I'd run 10m and come back in the first case.)  We found a young guy in agonal breathing laying on his side.  "We're doctors!" I told the officer.  The guy was unresponsive.  Some in the crowd said, "He was beaten up and thrown from a taxi!"  Okay, let's try to figure out how we can move him safely.  We tried moving him to his back to evaluate him, but he started choking on a huge ball of phlegm, so we moved him back to his side.  We couldn't see any signs of trauma and his wallet was in the front pouch of his sweatshirt.  I thought it a bit odd for someone recently robbed to still have his wallet.  It had his ID and so we could tell that he was 25 years old and there were phone numbers of family members that some of the crowd around us called.  Strangely, we couldn't find any signs of trauma:  No blood, no bruising, no lacerations.   "Who saw him thrown out of a taxi?" I asked the crowd.  No one knew.  It appears it was just a made up story.  I guess they've seen enough people assaulted and robbed and thrown out of taxis, they assumed this was just another such case.  But he could have been drunk or drugged or have had a seizure.  "Is an ambulance coming?"  I asked.  "No.  It's Sunday."  Really?  No emergency response on Sundays here?  I'll remember that for my next life-threatening accident.  We contemplated taking him to my house (with IVs and oxygen) but wisely decided "Let's get him to the hospital," even though it was further away.  We loaded him into the municipality's car and Wayne went with him to the hospital and Paul and I got a ride home from a good samaritan.  I left Paul at home and hurried to the hospital where I quickly found Wayne and the patient.  It looked like they were doing all they could do so we left.  Thirty minutes later, Wayned called to say he was in a taxi listening to the radio and they were reporting that two American doctors were running and 'rescued' this kid, though they went on to say that they didn't think he'd survive.  I'll have to check tomorrow's paper to see how it all came out.

PS.  The title is a bit wrong.  We aren't 'joggers'.  We're 'runners'.  The importance of this distinction is best explained here.