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Peachtree Road Race Runner saved by Grady Doc

(From left) Dr. Douglas Ander, Tim and Linda Nelms, paramedic Christopher Sims

Dr. Douglas Ander, Grady emergency physician, could not have known on the morning he laced up his shoes to run the Peachtree Road Race on July 4, 2017, he would end up being at the right place, at the right time, to help save a fellow runner’s life.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone on his knees, and my daughter said to me: ‘Dad I think you should stop, this person doesn’t look good.’”

Mere yards from the finish line, Tim Nelms had collapsed due to cardiac arrest. Ander rushed to his side and began CPR and chest compressions. What followed was a team of medical professionals, including Emory physicians, Atlanta Fire Rescue Department, Grady EMS bike team and paramedics, doing their part to save Nelms’ life.

Christopher Sims, the Grady paramedic who responded to the call said it was amazing to arrive on the scene and find Nelms with a pulse.

“CPR right off the bat is essential, and this proves it,” Sims said.

Nelms was back home by 7 a.m. the next day, and says he couldn’t have asked for anything better than that.

“What do you say? All you can say is thanks. Dr. Ander was nice enough to stop his race when he didn’t have to. That made all the difference, and I’ve apologized for ruining his time,” Nelms said with a smile.

Ander and Nelms’ families met weeks after the race and have kept in contact. They plan to run the 2018 race together.