Alaska Runner's Frostbitten Feet Amputated

Paramedics couldn't remove his shoes because they were frozen to his feet


 
 

DAN JOLING | | Tuesday, November 22, 2011


ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — An All-American distance runner who spent more than two days in freezing winter temperatures without winter gear has had his legs amputated just above the ankles.

Marko Cheseto, 28, is one of several Kenyan runners who competed for the University of Alaska Anchorage in cross-country and track. The amputations were reported Monday on the UAA Athletic Department website.

Cheseto was seen at about 7 p.m. in a UAA building on Nov. 6, a Sunday night, as two snow storms started to blanket the city. His roommates reported him missing the next morning. The disappearance prompted a citywide search.

Cheseto was found early the following Wednesday outside a hotel near the campus. He was wearing athletic shoes, a jacket and blue jeans but no hat or gloves. He was suffering from hypothermia and severe frostbite on his feet and hands.

The hotel manager told the Anchorage Daily News when Cheseto was found, paramedics could not remove the runner's shoes because they were frozen to his feet.

UAA officials said Cheseto's hands are expected to make a full recovery but his lower extremities were severely injured and required amputation. He is expected to remain hospitalized for recovery and rehabilitation, UAA officials said.

University of Alaska Anchorage police interviewed Cheseto after he was found and reported he had suffered a "personal crisis" when he disappeared. Authorities concluded he had spent the entire time outside.

In a statement on the athletic department website, Cheseto thanked volunteers and professionals who searched for him.

"As some may know, I've been going through a lot of personal issues," he said. "While I am still recovering — both physically and emotionally — I will do my very best to give back to the community that has helped me so much and to my home country, Kenya. I sincerely apologize for any problems that I may have caused."

Cheseto left the campus one day after accompanying the UAA cross-country team to the NCAA Division II West Region championships in Spokane, Wash.

Cheseto had won the West Region championship the two previous seasons. Cheseto had used his final season of cross-country eligibility but was expected to compete in spring track. He took last season off following the suicide of teammate William Ritekwiang, who also was from Kenya.

Cheseto was studying for a nursing degree at the school.

Athletic Director Steve Cobb said the university will continue to support Cheseto.

"We take our responsibility and commitment to the student-athletes entrusted to our care very seriously," he said on the athletic department website. "It was meaningful that our community was there for us in our time of need and we are sincerely appreciative of everyone's efforts."



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, frostbite, extreme hypothermia

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

REMSA Programs Helps Reduce Hospital Visits

Community paramedic effort goes into service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

City Official Challenges San Francisco Fire Chief

Ambulance response times among problems noted by city supervisor.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Crash

Victoria ambulance collides with civilian vehicle.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Medics Ditch Pants for Kilts

“Real men do wear kilts.”
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

CO Leak at Illinois School

Girard incident sends over 130 to hospitals.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On September 2014

Who gets thumbs up this month?
More >


Multimedia Thumb

NYC Sept. 11 Anniversary

View images from the ceremony at Ground Zero.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >