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Dr. Oz comes to the rescue of Salt Lake City 5K runner

Published August 20, 2013 12:22 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ken Roosa was lucky to have the right kind of TV doctor — a legitimate one — at his side as he finished the USANA Champions for Change 5K on Saturday in Salt Lake City.

The Ohio 53-year-old collapsed shortly after the race and literally rolled into Mehmet Oz — better known as Dr. Oz on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Larry King Live" and "The Dr. Oz Show" — who rushed into action. Oz kept Roosa still and called for help after determining that Roosa was unable to breathe and had fluid in his lungs ("indicating pulmonary edema," according to Oz's Facebook page).

"He immediately dropped down to find out what he could do," Roosa said. "Had I not had Dr. Oz to hold me down and get others to help, it could have been worse."

After Roosa was taken to LDS Hospital, he says Oz called and asked the emergency room doctors for details. Oz stopped by the hospital about a half-hour later and chauffeured Roosa's wife, Cledith, to the Salt Lake Hilton to retrieve insurance information. Roosa was released from the hospital after 30 hours and is now enjoying a low-key vacation in Park City, but he has stayed in touch with Oz through calls and text messages.

The celebrity doctor was in town to serve as master of ceremonies for the race. He wrote on his Facebook page that Roosa's tentative diagnosis was a stroke and a possible heart arrhythmia.

Roosa said he usually trains CrossFit and was ill-prepared for distance running. "I'm not a runner. It's not something I ever aspired to be. My body was fully stressed, and I had a lot of stuff going on that could have been catastrophic."

On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Dr. Oz was among the passersby who helped an English tourist whose leg was severed in a New York City cab accident.

"Ken was lucky," Oz wrote on Facebook. "I want you all to remember to stay cool in the heat. Just to be sure, I may jog with Ken for the foreseeable future!"

mpiper@sltrib.com

Twitter: @matthew_piper