Via Larry Brown Sports:
Seth Goldstein liked his chances of winning as he hit the halfway mark of his recent cross-country race. The 17-year-old senior from Cooper Yeshiva High in Memphis, Tenn. was somewhere in the middle of the pack with plenty of race remaining when a runner ahead of him dropped to the ground. Had the boy merely tripped over his shoelaces, Goldstein may have taken it as a lucky break and continued past the runner from rival school in Germantown, Tenn. But his opponent needed help.
“His lips were turning blue and his eyes were rolled back in his head,” Goldstein told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “I was terrified. But then I thought to myself, freaking out isn’t going to help any here.”
Goldstein is a lifeguard. He was the only runner to stop after his opponent had fallen, noting that it was “obvious” he needed help. When he realized the Germantown student had blood bubbling from his mouth, he yelled for a parent to call 911.
“He had bitten his tongue and was bleeding pretty bad,” Goldstein explained. “I feared he was going to choke on his blood. I rolled him on his side so he wouldn’t asphyxiate.”
At that point Jessica Chandler, the mother of another Germantown runner, ran over to help. She saw the victim’s body seizing and didn’t know what to do. Fortunately for everyone involved, Goldstein had the situation under control.
“Honestly, I was in shock,” Chandler said. “But this guy was taking complete control. He was like, ‘You — call 911. You — go get some ice.’ He turned him on his side. I thought he was a parent or an EMT.”
Goldstein then proceeded to tell everyone the seizing was normal and that he had seen it before. He was lying. He had never seen it, but it helped alleviate the stress of the situation. As it turned out, the fallen runner had suffered a seizure because of the heat and would later recover. Upon realizing the EMTs had arrived and could handle it from there, Goldstein asked if he could finish the race. It wasn’t until then that Chandler realized he was just another student runner.
“The EMTs looked at me kind of funny,” Goldstein said. “They’re like, ‘You’re racing? Well, sure, go ahead. I guess you can finish the race.’ Everyone was clapping for me, like I was the chunky kid who couldn’t finish. They were all cheering and saying, ‘You can do it!’ I’m thinking, ‘C’mon, man!’”
In an era where children at all levels of competition are encouraged to win at all costs and face unnecessary pressure from their parents, Goldstein showed us that selflessness does exist — even in competition. If it were completely extinct, a high school student may have lost his life.
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