Daughter Running Marathon Stops To Save Father

Father Collapses Near End Of Colorado Marathon

A 64-year-old man who collapsed during the Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins last week after his heart stopped credits his daughter and other runners for saving his life.

At the start of last week's Colorado Marathon, Aimee Chlebnik had one goal in mind: qualify for the Boston Marathon.

"As a runner, that's one thing that I've always dreamed of doing," said Chlebnik.

But she never dreamed the race would end the way it did.

The Colorado State University grad's parents had flown to Fort Collins to support her and do the half marathon at the same time.

Chlebnik had figured out that she should catch up with her dad before the finish line near the end of the race.

Not far from the 24-mile mark, she saw someone collapsed on the ground, surrounded by runners already doing CPR.

"I'm an EMT, so as I came up to them I decided to stop and see if they needed any help. And that's when I realized that it was my father actually on the ground," she said. "It was the most horrifying experience I think I've had."

"I don't remember falling, I don't remember passing out," said Bob Chlebnik, Aimee's father.

He may not remember his near-death experience or two days in Intensive Care, but he's grateful for everyone, including his daughter, who stopped to save his life.

"So this is a bump in the road of life, we'll get over it and keep on going," he said. "I'm very lucky. I'm very lucky I got a second chance."

Aimee said she is also grateful and hoped the story would encourage people to learn CPR.

"I think the only reason my father is with us today is because the people who responded knew what to do and they did it quickly," she said.

To her, what's important is that her father is alive.

But she thought she had lost her chance to qualify for Boston.

Race organizers, though, are now working to get her an automatic entry.

"It will mean even more now that I know that my father will be there to cheer me on at the finish," she said.

Print this article Back to Top