“I just kind of started running towards him. When I got there he was still breathing on his own, but he stopped breathing probably within 15 seconds. I couldn't find a pulse so just started CPR right away."
First-year Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton resident Dr. David Frease is describing the moment a fellow runner collapsed during the Big Bear Triathlon last weekend.
“[I] started chest compressions on him, he came back to me after maybe another round of chest compressions and thought I had him back and then he went down again, stopped breathing again lost his pulse a second time,” Frease described.
He and another runner then called for help.
A Big Bear Police officer got a defibrillator, and Frease was able to bring back the runner's pulse and consciousness until medics arrived.
After Frease helped save the man’s life he continued the triathlon and still managed to finish in second place.
At the finish line, runners cheered on Frease for his selfless action. His good deed also caught the recognition of Commanding Officer Frank Pearson.
“We’re extremely proud of Dr. Frease,” Pearson said. “He's just coming to us, just starting his training, but this just shows you the quality and magnitude of the people we get in our residency programs, and we can’t say enough about how proud we are of him and all of our residents. So he is a fine example for all of us."
Pearson said Frease’s actions demonstrate the naval hospital's values, and the new resident was presented with Pearson’s Commander’s Coin. “Nothing more emulates being NHCP strong than what you've done, Dr. Frease,” Pearson told Frease at Camp Pendleton Wednesday.
Frease’s recognition comes even before his first day of work, which is next Monday.
“Anyone would have stopped in that situation,” Frease said humbly. “When another human like that is in need, I think the majority of people would have stopped.”