Runner Spotlight | Vic Carlos

Ever wonder who’s standing next to you in your corral at the start line, or cheering you on when you’re about to give up during a race? As runners we all have a story, a motivation to run whether it’s a personal challenge, to stay fit, bond with friends, raise money for charity, or work through a difficult time.

Just 6 months ago, 42 year old marathoner Victor Carlos couldn’t breathe on his own without the aid of a machine that pumped oxygen through his body.

What he thought was just a simple bout of the flu, was actually a life threatening condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that prevents enough oxygen from getting to the lungs and into the blood stream.

Doctors needed to act fast since Vic already had multiple organ failures, and it was recommended that he have a procedure called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO to remove any carbon dioxide and allow oxygenated blood to flow to his heart if the treatment was successful.  The doctor told his family that he had a 40-50% chance of survival. 

The surgery proved successful, and after not taking a breath for an entire month, his lungs came to life and he was able to breathe again on his own. Vic was determined to make a full recovery and start running again. “When I got out of the hospital in February, I was determined to get back to normal. And normal was running marathons! It was awful getting started but I just refused to accept my condition then, when I could barely walk a block”. He was able to work his way up to 3 miles by March, and the Sports Authority Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon & 1/2 Marathon was 26 weeks away, just exactly enough time to train for a marathon. 

On October 20th, Vic crossed the finish line in 5:15:43 with his brother and daughter by his side wearing a “Get your Flu Shot” t-shirt. He encourages others to get their flu shot this season to avoid serious diseases that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even life threatening conditions like ARDS.

This story is just one of many that brings motivation and support to members of the Rock ‘n’ Roll community. Share your personal story and you could be featured in our Runner Spotlight.

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