On the second loop of his cross country race, high school runner, Seth Goldstein, voluntarily fell behind to save the life of a runner on a rival team.
“I was feeling good,” Goldstein, 17, a senior at Cooper Yeshiva High in Memphis,Tenn., told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “That’s when everything happened in front of me.”
One of the runners from a rival school in Germantown, Tenn., suddenly collapsed in front of Goldstein; he was the only one who stopped to help the boy.
“His lips were turning blue and his eyes were rolled back in his head,” Goldstein told KNOX News. “I was terrified. But then I thought to myself, freaking out isn’t going to help any here.”
Goldstein immediately took action — he called out to nearby parents and told them to call 911.
By that time, the rival runner had begun to regurgitate blood.
“He had bitten his tongue and was bleeding pretty bad,” Goldstein recounted to the Commercial Appeal. “I feared he was going to choke on his blood. I rolled him on his side so he wouldn’t asphyxiate.”
Jessica Chandler, a mother from the fallen boy’s school, ran up to the pair just as the student began to have seizures, according to Yahoo News.
“He was awesome,” Chandler said of Goldstein’s rescue methods. “He was so competent and kind. When the boy started to come out of it he just kept saying, ‘You’re going to be OK. We’re here. We’re with you. You’re going to be OK.’”
EMTs arrived shortly, and took over care of the injured runner, reported CBS Sports. When it was clear that the runner was suffering from heat-induced seizures and would recover, Goldstein stood and asked if he could finish the race. It was only then that Chandler and the EMTs realized that Goldstein was just another participant.
“The EMTs looked at me kind of funny,” Goldstein said. “They’re like, ‘You’re racing? Well, sure, go ahead. I guess you can finish the race.’ “
Golstein finished the race with his slowest time, but when he reached the finish line he was greeted like a hero.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Goldstein called his parents using a cell phone and told them to call 911, he actually called out to nearby parents who were watching the race.