Monday, November 08, 2010

Double-lung transplant patient finishes full New York City Marathon

Double-lung transplant patient Tim Sweeney finishes full New York City Marathon in 7 hours
BY Simone Weichselbaum, Ryan Lavis and Henrick Karoliszyn
New York Daly News

It took Tim Sweeney almost seven hours to finish the New York City Marathon but he walked on air every step of the way.
The 33-year-old medical miracle competed in the epic race Sunday with a new set of lungs after receiving a double transplant a year ago.
Sweeney was one of 43,000 to compete in the New York City Marathon on Sunday.
Photo: Ruttle/AP
"It was so much more than I expected. It was overwhelming," Sweeney said after clocking in at just under six hours and 55 minutes. "I didn't care about time. I really wanted to finish. It meant a lot to me."
Sweeney, a personal trainer from Connecticut, suffered from cystic fibrosis, but always stayed active.
In 2007, however, he lost 80% of his lung capacity. He underwent the transplants at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Columbia last year.
If Sweeney had any doubts along the 26.2-mile course, he had his surgeon, Dr. Joshua Sonett, running with him every step of the way. "When he said he wanted to run the marathon ... I didn't know if it was the right thing. But he did it, and he did it safely," said Sonett, a five-time marathoner.
Sweeney was one of 43,000 runners to compete Sunday in a field filled with inspirational and dramatic stories.
Gebre Gebremariam, 26, of Ethiopia, won the men's race in his first try after watching fellow countryman and world recordholder Haile Gebrselassie suffer a career-ending injury at the 16-mile mark.
Kenya's Edna Kiplagat, in the women's category, was another surprise winner, capturing her first major marathon title in 2:28:20. Officer Jose Benitez, 26, became the all-time recordholder for any of New York's Finest to ever run the race, finishing 102nd overall in just 2 hours and 39 minutes.
"It's awesome. It's a tremendous honor," Benitez said after crossing the finish line. "I spend six hours on my feet every day. It makes me tougher. You gotta be healthy to protect people."
All were cheered along by hundreds of thousands of spectators lining the course, holding signs, clapping and banging cowbells. "It's one of the best New York experiences you can have," said Mike Ryan, a 42-year-old union rep who watched in Park SlopeBrooklyn.
"It never gets old. It's a good tradition," said Stephen Pannone, 53, of Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn. "We love to come out here, drink hot chocolate and yell for the runners. It's always worth it. We always have a good time."
After the runners passed, the Sanitation Department sprung into action.
More than a ton of plastic bottles and nearly 2 million paper cups, weighing more than 6 tons, were collected for recycling, officials said

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1 comment:

John said...

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