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Pennsylvania runner thanks Red Cross for coming to her aid at Boston Marathon

Woman overcome with gratitude
They were just so kind to me. They were my angels.

Before April 21, Theresa Harmon didn’t know who staffed the medical tents at the Boston Marathon.

She’d run the race three times before, making it to the finish line without ever needing to find out who exactly was behind the white jacket, but that changed after the 118th Boston Marathon.

Harmon, a qualified runner from Maple Glenn, PA, had just made it over Heartbreak Hill when she started to feel funny.

She remembers falling into a runner, and that runner waving over a medical volunteer from Tent 23 in Brookline’s Coolidge Corner. Then she blacked out.

With her body temperature at 108 degrees, specially trained members of the Red Cross medical crew knew they had to act fast.

“We had a doctor in our tent and recognized right away that she needed to be iced down, so we brought her to the ice bath,” said Larry Rosenberg, co-captain of the medical station.

“I didn’t know what was going on, but I knew enough that they were helping me,” she said. “I remember counting how many people were around me – and there was over 10. It’s so remarkable, the care I received.”

Harmon spent about 45 minutes at the station, and was put on a stretcher to go to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital when her body temperature didn’t decrease. Lynn Levine, co-captain of the station, said crew members were able to contact Harmon’s husband to let him know where she was.

“Everybody was very concerned with her welfare after she got transported to the hospital,” Levine said. So much so, that one of the team’s registered nurses reached out to the hospital a little later to make sure Harmon was alright.

Harmon was treated and quickly released from St. Elizabeths, and credits her quick recovery to the Red Cross. Following the ordeal, she spent time tracking down the team so she could express her gratitude.

“I didn’t know who they were at the time, I had to find out later,” she said. “Runners should know who’s out there. They were just so kind to me. They were my angels.”