Doctor running in TCS New York City Marathon stops to help woman who collapsed

NEW YORK (WABC) -- A doctor running in this year's TCS New York City Marathon turned out to be a life-saver, stopping his run to revive a woman who stopped breathing.

He was on pace to finish his 25th New York City Marathon when the woman, Kristie Elfering, collapsed at mile 16.

Running the marathon nearby happened to be Dr. Ted Strange from Staten Island who stopped to help.

Dr Strange was about to meet up with family on the course, but instead started CPR and called for help, including a defibrillator to shock Kristie's heart. He says the NYPD and EMS came right over.

"No other runners stopped, people just running around, a dead person on the floor obviously, but she was alive," said Dr. Strange.

"I collapsed near mile 16 and would not be here today if not for the fast action of Dr. Strange," said Kristie.

She had to be shocked four times. Her family says she suffered cardiac arrest from a blood clot.

Dr. Strange says there are normal emergency procedures that everyone can do to help someone.

"If they don't have a pulse, it can't hurt to start CPR," he said. "CPR is no longer mouth to mouth, that's not part of it. You thump the chest, you start compressions, hopefully everybody learns that, a very simple maneuver. And call for help, call for a defibrillator."

With Kristie headed to the hospital, the doctor finished the marathon. He says his late father taught him well.

"You never quit, you finish what you start always," he said.

And he shrugs off praise, saying, "I didn't do anything heroic."

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