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Peachtree Road Race cardiac arrest survivor runs 2018 race with physician who aided in saving his life

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Janet Christenbury

From left to right: Douglas Ander, MD, Ilana Ander, Marissa Ander, Alison Phillips and Tim Nelms ran the 2018 Peachtree Road Race together.

It was all smiles as they crossed the finish line at the 2018 Peachtree Road Race this July 4th. But last July 4th, the mood was much different.
Tim Nelms, a long-time participant in the Peachtree Road Race completing more than 15 races, was running the 2017 race with his daughter. As he neared the finish line, he slowed down then collapsed on the pavement. Nelms was in cardiac arrest.
Not far behind, Emory emergency medicine physician Douglas Ander, MD, who works in Grady Memorial Hospital’s Emergency Department, was running the race with his daughters. Ander’s daughters saw Nelms collapse and alerted their dad. Ander rushed over, checked his pulse and didn’t find one, then immediately began CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation).
With the assistance of a team at the race’s main medical tent and an automated external defibrillator (AED), Nelms’ heart was shocked back into rhythm. Then he was transported to a nearby hospital, where a stent was placed in one of his arteries.
Last year’s scary moments did not stop Nelms from taking to the Peachtree Road Race course in 2018. However, this July 4th, Nelms and Ander ran the race together. Nelms’ daughter, Alison Phillips, and Ander’s daughters, Ilana and Marissa Ander, both joined their dads for the run — just as they had done the year before.
“It was a wonderful day as two families ran the Peachtree Road Race together, celebrating Tim's accomplishment and the joy of life,” says Ander. “It was a very successful run.”
Nelms was glad to have Ander by his side throughout the 10K, providing an extra level of comfort. “The run this year was a lot of fun, and I felt great after the race, with no complications,” says Nelms. “It was a great run with Dr. Ander and our daughters.

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