COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ) — The death of Jordan McNair at the University of Maryland has people talking about heat stroke.
Doctors said the higher the heat index- the higher the risk.
13.1 miles of the Baltimore Half Marathon last October was nearly a death sentence for runner Madeleine Boucher.
“The day was really hot. I wasn’t hydrated. I didn’t do the things that I needed to do to prepare,” Boucher said.
The former athlete pushed through weakness, exhaustion, and hallucinations, not knowing they were signs of heat stroke.
“I could feel myself just deteriorating. And by the end of it, probably the last three miles, I don’t remember that well. I just remember kind of feeling limp and not having any mobility in my arms and they were kind of flapping around.” Boucher said.
Boucher collapsed 30 feet from the finish line and within minutes of her life. Her temperature when she came-to in an ice bath was 108 degrees.
“Basically the body ends up cooking itself. You can cook your internal process,” said Dr. Louis Kovacs with Medstar Sports Medicine.
Dr. Kovacs said the ice bath likely saved Boucher’s life.
A precaution that was not in place the muggy day in May when UMD football player Jordan McNair collapsed of heat stroke during a workout.
Since his death, the team has installed cooling stations with industrial grade fans and staff armed with water.
“Probably most of the cases of exertional heat illness are experienced by people that are relatively young and we’d think of as “fit and healthy.” That’s because they’re doing much more intense activity,” Kovacs said.
Boucher had no lasting side effects or injuries from her heat stroke, partially because she was cooled down immediately after she collapsed.
“It was exhaustion to a point that like, I can’t really put into words,” Boucher said. “Because it was like my whole body, everything about me was so limp,”