Officers and other runners rewarded for saving man on Silver Comet Trail
COBB COUNTY, Georgia – Phil Denson was running along the Silver Comet Trail when his heart stopped. Three weeks later, Denson was talking about the strangers who stopped to help him and the importance of knowing CPR.
Denson has been a runner for about eight years. He runs 50 miles a week and has completed 100 mile races.
On October 29, he ran the Silver Comet Marathon. He says he was at mile 18, feeling fine, when he felt weak and collapsed. Other runners stopped in their tracks to help, calling 911 and performing CPR.
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When the Powder Springs police arrived, Officer Carson Yates took over until Cobb County Fire and EMS arrived with a defibrillator, shocking him back to life.
“There are paramedics around me and they said you were the luckiest man. I said, oh, so am I done? They said no, no, you’re dead,” said Denson.
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On Tuesday, lifesaving awards were handed out to everyone who saved Denson’s life.
“If it weren’t for the actions of the people in that room, he would still be dead today,” Cobb County Fire Chief Bill Johnson said.
“There were about 20 people there who saved my life,” Denson said.
For the first time, Denson was able to meet and hug the people on the course who stepped up to help. David Felis and Lauren Nelson who performed CPR and David Rooks who called 911.
“To hug them and meet them face to face today was amazing. It felt like we were family,” Denson said.
Denson knows he can walk the trail now because they started rescue measures so quickly.
“I would have had heart damage, brain damage, it would have been much darker,” Denson said.
Denson cannot stress enough the importance of learning CPR. He says Felis just got his CPR certification 11 days early.
“You can train to save someone’s life. If we all learn CPR and lifesaving skills, we can literally change the world. It changed my world,” Denson said.
For more information on CPR classes, visit RedCross.org.