Updated: October 19, 2021 06:40 PM
Created: October 19, 2021 06:04 PM
Meghan Roth didn't cross the Boston Marathon finish line last week. She did one better by surviving a heart attack and making it home to Minnesota to reunite with her 9-month-old son, Jaxon.
"It's just to think of the alternative is just really tough," she told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS on Tuesday. "Just very fortunate to be here and to be home with him is like the best thing in the world. So yeah, very fortunate."
Roth collapsed at the eight-mile mark of the Boston Marathon on Oct. 11. She says she was in the best shape of her life and excited to run her first marathon post-pandemic and post-pregnancy.
"It happened so quickly I don't even remember hitting the ground or anything like that. I just looked down at my shoes and the next second I knew I was waking up in the ambulance just panicked," Roth said. "It happened so quickly which makes it even scarier. That something that bad can happen within seconds."
Meghan is grateful for fellow runners like Nick Haney, a paramedic from the Portland, Oregon, area who knows Meghan and had just seen her the night before while visiting the finish line area.
"The woman was blue in the face, taking agonal respirations, and I took a little closer look and I realized that I knew her," Nick told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS last week. He says many people stopped in the middle of the race to help Meghan. "Pretty cool seeing from all walks of life coming together when somebody really needs help — desperately needs help."
"To run into him on Sunday, like I was telling him, 'You're like my guardian angel,'" Meghan says of Nick. "'It was like we were meant to see each other and you were meant to be there and for you to be one of the first responders to bring me back to life. Yeah, you were meant to be there and I'm so grateful.'"
Meghan has spoken with Nick and others who helped her in the days following her heart attack and will forever be linked with them. So will her son, Jaxon, who still has a mom thanks to the efforts of so many heroes at the Boston Marathon.
A GoFundMe page has been started to help Roth cover medical expenses not covered by insurance.
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