Edmonds runner called 'good Samaritan' after in-flight emergency

Edmonds runner called 'good Samaritan' after in-flight emergency »Play Video
Adam Cornell, April 27, 2014.

EDMONDS, Wash. -- An Edmonds runner, who is also a deputy prosecutor for the Snohomish County Prosecutor's Office, is being called a "good Samaritan" for helping a fellow passenger during an emergency situation on a flight from Boston to Seattle - just a day after finishing the Boston Marathon.

Adam Cornell, who completed the Boston Marathon last year, returned to Boston last week after witnessing the tragedy of last year's bombings.

"The sense of trying to recapture something that was lost last year was really almost indescribable," said Cornell.

During this year's run, Cornell said there was so much support and admiration from organizers, volunteers and the crowd, but there's one moment from the race that captured the spirit of the day for him.

It happened when he approached mile 18 with a cramp and a woman stopped to help.

"That to me was kind of my Boston Marathon this year - was having somebody come to me and offer a shoulder to lean-on so that I could stretch-out and finish the race. That was great," said Cornell. 

The next day Cornell was given an opportunity to help someone else the same way help was offered to him. During Cornell's flight home to Seattle, an elderly man suffered a heart attack.

As flight crew - and a nurse who also ran the Boston Marathon - gave the man CPR, Cornell tried to comfort the victim's wife.

"I saw that his wife was alone and I was thinking 'Wow, what's going through her mind right now,'" said Cornell.

The plane was then diverted to Fargo, ND where the man was taken to a hospital and later died. Cornell stayed with the victim's widow, got her a hotel room, called her family, then arranged flights back to Seattle. He even stayed with the woman at Sea-Tac Airport until her children arrived.

"This Boston Strong - it's gotta be more than an expression. We heard it all weekend, but if that's really going to mean something it means actually doing something, and I was in a position to help somebody," said Cornell who later learned the elderly couple  was in Boston to watch their daughter run the marathon.

"To me, it was even further justification for helping out," said Cornell. "This was the father of a fellow runner and it wouldn't have ultimately mattered in the end, but to find out that later to have the opportunity to assist a fellow runner's family made an impact on me."