During the concluding running section of Sunday's Leon's Triathlon held in and around Wolf Lake Park in Hammond, Christian Charvet had his club teammate in sight.
"I saw (him) about 200 yards ahead of me," said Charvet, 38, of Des Plaines. "Sometimes there would be turns in the course, and I wouldn't see him for a while."
After completing his first-ever Olympic-distance triathlon and receiving his finishing medal, Charvet saw his fellow Chicago Asian Running and Endurance Club member again. He already had received his finishing medal and was being congratulated by friends and family.
Then his teammate, a 40-year-old Woodridge man, went down.
"When someone collapses or faints, a lot of times people will try to prop the person in a sitting position as if that should wake them up," said Charvet, a registered nurse. "That's what they were doing to him, but you don't want keep the blood from reaching the brain."
Though still shaking off the effects of negotiating an arduous swim, bike and run course, Charvet sprung into action and had them lay the man on his back.
"There was another guy there who said he was an ER doctor," Charvet said. "I told him I was a nurse, so we said, 'Let's do this!' "
After determining the man was not breathing and didn't have a pulse, the makeshift tandem began to perform CPR.
"He was doing the chest compression to get the blood circulating again, and I was doing the rescue breath," Charvet said. "Normally, you would like to have a barrier between your mouth and the person you're trying to resuscitate, but sometimes you've got act without one."
Charvet said they were able to revive the man before EMTs took him away by stretcher.
"But he was struggling ... moaning," Charvet said.
The man is currently in the intensive care unit at St. Margaret Health hospital in Hammond, where he remains unconscious.
"They are keeping him sedated for the best chance for recovery," said Charvet, who with other club athletes and family members has paid numerous visits to the victim. "Right now, we just got to hope for the best."
Charvet said he has performed CPR before.
"But it was all within a medical (facility) setting," he said. "This was the first time in this type of situation."