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  • Writer's pictureDr. Steven Horwitz

This time the Athletes Save the Coach!

At the start of track practice Monday, volunteer distance coach Mike Hadway taught his team at Lewis and Clark High School how to monitor their own pulse while running. He instructed them to press their pointer and middle fingers against their windpipe until they could feel the blood pumping.


Later that practice, runner Brody Graham, 17, put the technique to use. Standing over an unconscious and bloodied Hadway, Graham pressed the two fingers into his coach’s neck, digging in vain for a pulse after Hadway collapsed suddenly.


“In the moment, your heart’s beating so fast, you can feel it all around you. And you gotta make that moment. You gotta say, ‘Do I feel the pulse of my fingers or do I feel the pulse of my coach?’ ” Graham recalled. “I was like, ‘I’m not feeling a pulse here; I’m gonna have to start compressions.’ I did what I knew to do.”


Now recovering, the 69-year-old Hadway collapsed suddenly in an apparent cardiac arrest. Graham, a trained lifeguard, and teammate Grant Lichfield decisively administered CPR while emergency services were on the way, saving Hadway’s life, while the rest of the team of teenage boys delegated the situation.


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