Arce escaped death: collapsed in the half marathon, but does not remember anything
I was one of those who said that running was crazy, I thought, why are they running?”, Pedro Tandilense Pedro Martin Arce, 37, was sincere after having suffered cardiac arrest while running the most recent edition of the half marathon porteña Three months later, he already plans to run again, although his passion “is really football,” he says. The cardiac episode that almost cost him his life happened almost at the end of the race, on August 26. Although that has to be told to Pedro, because he does not remember anything. “I know I was in Tandil, before running, and now I’m back, in the middle, nothing,” he explains. In the middle, he almost died and was hospitalized in four hospitals for more than a month.
Arce faded less than two kilometers from the arrival, when he came running in top form. Joaquín Podstavka was the first of the health team of the event that assisted him and did the resuscitation maneuvers. “Martín’s will to live was incredible,” he recalls. He was transferred to the Pirovano Hospital. Verónica García, her partner for 21 years, was waiting for him at the arrival, without knowing what had happened. “When they finally informed me, I was seized by an attack,” she recalls, “the area was a chaos of vehicles, there was no way to get a taxi, so I ran to the hospital.” Veronica had also participated in the half marathon; He arrived at the hospital in despair for his partner, even with the medal awarded when the competition ended hanging around his neck and feeling guilty about the situation.
“I insisted that he start running,” Garcia explains. She started doing it in Tandil three years ago, was enthusiastic about all the benefits of the activity and convinced Martín. “I never liked running, but I used to play football,” says Arce, “but she insisted and helped me a lot: I lost 20 kilos and on the court I felt great.”
In the bed of the Pirovano Hospital, the reality was very different. “I was all intubated,” says Verónica. “It was terrible to see him like that, luckily I was accompanied by Marcos, our coach, who took charge of talking with the doctors, they talked to me and it was impossible for me to understand what they were saying,” she adds. He was informed that the same afternoon they were taking him to Fernandez Hospital. A few hours later I was in a new bed and the parents and the four brothers had already arrived from Tandil. In the Fernandez tried to put a sten t, but it was impossible; He had one of the coronary arteries completely covered, calcified, and there was the problem that had unleashed everything.
“Even with lightning they managed to unblock the obstruction,” says Verónica. Martín nods, like a spectator who is told what happened to him; He seems to see his experience from the outside. The doctors discovered that Arce had had a cardiac episode more than a year earlier and had not been well diagnosed. A coronary artery had been covered, had a small heart attack and his body generated collateral branches to supply the heart, but it was only a patch that lasted until the competition. To prevent future accidents, he was given a defibrillator, which he must control every six months and must change within eight years. He continued his internship for two weeks and was then transferred to the Sacred Heart Sanatorium, where he spent two more weeks.
At last, on September 21, Arce returned to his native Tandil. Although to another hospitalization more, which would be the fourth and last, in the Chacabuco Clinic; He spent six days there and then returned to his home with Verónica and her two children, Benjamín (8) and Francisco (6). “It’s really amazing the support we had, from those who sent money to Buenos Aires to help us with the stay, to those who told us that they were praying for me from Salta,” says Arce.
The sequel in which Martin is working to recover completely is the loss of short-term memory. For that, he meets with an educational psychologist once a week. Beyond any slip, there is something you never forget. “We play football on Saturdays,” he says, referring to his team of co-workers, with whom he has known for years. “It’s three months before they let me play, but I’m still going to see them all, that’s my passion: I want to run again, behind the ball,” the runner who escaped death enthuses .