May 6, 2009 in City

Running doctors, nurses aided fallen man

Collapsed participant, still in ICU, will receive Bloomsday T-shirt
By The Spokesman-Review
 

Bloomsday numbers

 Sunday’s Bloomsday had the most registrations and finishers in six years, race officials said Monday.

 The official count for registration to the May race was 51,258. Of that number, initial reports show 45,621 people finished the race.

 That’s just slightly behind the totals from 2002, which saw 51,282 registrants and 45,775 finishers. It’s also about 3,700 registrants and about 2,000 finishers more than last year.

 Bloomsday’s peak year was 1996, when the race had 61,298 people register and 56,156 finish the 12-kilometer race.

Jim Camden

Bruce Miner has Bloomsday finisher T-shirts from the last 27 or so races.

And even though Miner, 69, suffered a heart attack on this year’s course, collapsed and was briefly considered clinically dead 150 yards from the finish line, his daughter said race officials are making an exception and giving Miner his 2009 T-shirt.

“I’m going to take it up to the hospital, and we are going to hang it up for him,” Diane Kruiswyck said.

Miner, of Spokane, was still unconscious Tuesday in the intensive care unit at Deaconess Medical Center after Sunday’s collapse near the corner of Broadway Avenue and Monroe Street.

Miner, Kruiswyck and her 15-year-old son, Taylor, had just rounded the corner during the 33rd annual 12-kilometer road race, heading into the final stretch.

“For most of the race he was doing OK,” Kruiswyck said. But as they neared Milford’s Fish House, Miner “grabbed my arm, and he doesn’t do stuff like that,” Kruiswyck said. “We kind of helped him along, but his color wasn’t quite right, and we told him we needed to stop.”

Miner had had some previous health problems involving his heart, but he had been cleared by doctors to participate in this year’s race.

“We always made sure Papa had somebody with him, and we slowed it down to jogging and walking just to keep him under control,” Kruiswyck said.

But on Sunday, Kruiswyck said, as her father neared the end of the race, he complained of chest pain but wanted to keep going. Shortly after that, he turned purple and blue in the face and hit the ground unconscious.

Several nurses and doctors nearby, participating in the race, swarmed Miner and began CPR before paramedics and an ambulance arrived.

Spokane cardiologist Darren Hollenbaugh happened to be running in the race and stayed with Miner in the ambulance and then at the hospital.

“The continuity of care was incredible in this case,” said Brian Schaeffer, assistant chief for the Spokane Fire Department.

Schaeffer said Miner couldn’t have picked a better spot along the race course to collapse, given all the nurses and doctors surrounding him.

“Talk about stars being aligned,” Schaeffer said. “One of our biggest challenges during the race is always access, and right where he collapsed was a gate so we had a straight shot out of there to the hospital.”

While quick action may have saved his life, Miner’s prognosis remained unknown.

“They are breathing for him, and we are not going to know the damage to the kidney, the heart or the brain yet,” Kruiswyck said.

“But to all the wonderful people who jumped in and helped out … I’m grateful to all of them.”

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