Dallas runner who collapsed during race saved by stranger

A 27-year-old Addison woman cheated death after going into cardiac arrest at the Dallas Rock & Roll Half Marathon.

The woman got to thank the doctors who treated her and the paramedics who raced to her aid in March. But there's one person she's still desperate to meet.

Bailey Adam was about a mile short of the finish line when she went down. The next thing she remembers is waking up in a hospital bed three days later.

“I have no memory of it,” she said. “And it's just kind of strange.”

Adam returned to Lake Cliff Park with her parents nearly two weeks ago when she suddenly went into cardiac arrest. She had run 5Ks before with her sister, but the Dallas Rock & Roll Half Marathon was her first big race.

On Thursday, Adam formally thanked the doctors at Methodist Dallas Medical Center and the Dallas Fire-Rescue paramedics who helped save her life.

“She's young. She bounced back pretty quickly,” said Dr. Tommario Davis. “Overall process was probably one of my better moments of the year so far.”

Doctors say less than eight percent of people survive sudden cardiac arrest. Adam’s type of pre-existing heart condition is a known killer. It’s a condition she knew she had, but it had been a while since a doctor tested her heart.

“I didn't actually know the full extent of where I was when I started training and registered for the race,” she said.

“I felt very confident that she was going to come out of this as we had prayed because we knew this would be an opportunity for some good to come out of this,” said Adam’s mom, Sharla.

While the medical professionals were instrumental in helping Adam, they all agree the real lifesaver was at the race: a mystery person jumped in when seconds counted most and performed CPR until paramedics arrived.

“It was a young lady,” recalled paramedic Brandon Shelby. “I believe she was a doctor.”

“I think maybe she could fill in a piece of the puzzle that I'm missing,” Adam said. “I'm still looking for closure.”

Adam is eager to lace up her running shoes again. But first, there's one more thank you in order.

“Thank you for showing up that day,” she said. “I don't know if they were watching or running, but I'm just so glad they were there.”

Adam had a pacemaker recently implanted. She and her doctors say her experience highlights the need for CPR training and proper health screenings before taking on strenuous physical challenges.