'I'm so thankful': Runner whose heart stopped during race meets his rescuers

Nurses and a doctor running in the race stopped to perform CPR.


A runner, who essentially died during Iowa's Dam to Des Moines race this year, finally had that chance to meet the strangers who saved him.

"Just the fact that they were all there at the right time and able to render aid, it truly is a miracle," Brian Huber said.

Huber is alive today thanks to his fellow runners and several law enforcement officers who watched him collapse during the race in April. His heart stopped for nearly 4 minutes. Running next to him were two nurses and a doctor who stopped running and sprang into action.

Stephanie Auxier is one of those nurses. She got to hug the man whose life she saved.

"Usually, when you're out in the field, it’s not a good outcome. So, it’s nice to see he's OK," Auxier said.

Senior Des Moines police Officer Steve Walters was the first to rush to Huber and he began CPR. It was the first time Walters saved a life.

"I was a little nervous, not doing the right thing, making sure I did the right thing, and the doctor was reassuring saying 'keep doing what you're doing, keep doing the chest compressions,'" Walters said.

Dr. Tom Benzoni supervised the first few minutes of the rescue. He said he was amazed by the dedication of the officers.

"I could see Brian's physiological response to their CPR just making his blood move. I could see his neurological responses to that I told those officers you all just keep doing exactly what you're doing," Benzoni said.

Tuesday, the civilians and nearly a dozen rescue workers from the area were honored to receive lifesaving awards.

"I can hug my kids, hug my wife. there's nothing you can say. They spend their whole life training for a moment like that," Huber said. "You gave me the best gift that I could ever possibly imagine. And I'm so thankful."