Sgt. Samuel Kosgei, a combat medic for the U.S. Army’s World Class Athlete Program, performed lifesaving care on a civilian while shopping at a Walmart in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with his family, Sept. 18.
“I heard a child screaming,” said Kosgei. “I told my wife to keep the kids where she was and ran over to the aisle where I found an older woman lying on the ground. She was not breathing so I told the other woman standing there to dial 911 while I cleared the area and assessed the situation.”
Kosgei gave the woman CPR and she started to breathe again. Once she was fully conscious, Kosgei escorted the upset child to his wife and kids, who helped calm him down.
“After she was awake, the ambulance did not take long,” said Kosgei. “I waited with the woman and her daughter until the first responders got there.”
Kosgei, a former WCAP marathon runner, checked in with the paramedics, then let the daughter give the first responders the woman’s information.
The WCAP staff and Soldier-athletes did not know about Kosgei’s lifesaving efforts until a week later when it came up in a casual conversation.
“Kosgei is extremely humble, and I did not hear about this until his supervisor submitted him for an award,” said WCAP Commander Cpt. Bryce Livingston. “I was shocked to find out, but not surprised, because that is just the kind of person Sgt. Kosgei is. He is a leader, and I could always count on him to get tasks done.”
Kosgei mentioned that his training as an Army medic prepared him for the situation.
“I am proud to be a medic and that applies 24/7,” said Kosgei. “I have the skills and responsibility to help others, whether they are a Soldier or a civilian. I am glad I was there to help.”
Kosgei, a two-time Marine Corps Marathon championship, joined WCAP in 2017 as a marathon runner. He was training to make the U.S. Olympic Marathon team and made it to the 2020 Summer Olympics trials in February.
“I was at mile 21 and I felt chest pain but I kept pushing,” said Kosgei. “Then at mile 23 my vision blurred and I tried to stay on the road but I collapsed.”
An ambulance transported Kosgei to the hospital where they ran tests on his heart and luckily found no damage.
“It was scary but I’m glad I am alive,” said Kosgei “That situation made me think I could be a medic for WCAP. I knew they were in need of one and I would be happy doing that.”
WCAP’s commander said that Kosgei has made a positive impact on the program as a medic especially, when COVID-19 fist hit.
“His actions say a lot about him,” said Sgt. David Stowasser, senior medic at WCAP, about Kosgei’s role as a medic in WCAP and his response to the woman in need.
Stowasser recommended Kosgei for an Army Commendation Medal to properly recognize his actions.
Although Kosgei did not know the names of the woman and her family, he said he continues to pray for them and her health.