Posted on 01/24/2012

PITTSBURGH (KDKA-TV) — A few short months ago, the odds were heavily stacked against her survival and her chances of resuming a normal life; but as KDKA-TV News Anchor Susan Koeppen returns to work at the anchor desk for the first time since November, she’s sharing her story in the hopes that it may inspire more people to learn what to do to save a life.

Susan KoeppenAfter 7 years reporting for CBS News in New York, Susan came home to Pittsburgh and joined KDKA-TV last fall.

Life was kind of chaotic, but in a good way. She was busy with work, busy with her husband Jim; and especially with their three little kids. On top of all that, Susan had begun training for a half-marathon. She’d just run a 5K in October; and on November 20th, she hooked up with her friends and fellow runners, Gabey Gosman and Beth Sutton. “Hey let’s go out for a couple of miles, do a couple miles on a Sunday morning,” Susan recounts. “Go home, go on with our day.”

It seemed like a good plan — at least until the women were on the home stretch on Negley Avenue in Shadyside. Beth had just asked Susan if she was OK, having noticed that she didn’t look good. “She said ‘ No, no. Old girl’s gonna power through.’ I said alright so we kept running.”

In fact, Beth says Susan surged ahead of her friends; but then, stopped. “[She] put her hands on her knees and kind of bent over like she was trying to catch her breath, then she put her right hand back and kind of sat herself back down on the ground and lay down. And knowing Susan, she’s kinda funny anyways, so I… ran upon her and said , ‘Susan, that was quite a burst of energy you had there,’ and she was gasping for air just like she was winded and out of breath. And I bent over her and I looked down. I said, ‘Do you need some water?’ and she didn’t respond. She was still gasping for air, so I put my arm underneath her back and I lifted her up cause I had a water bottle on my arm and I said – I looked at her again, I said, ‘Oh my gosh, Gabey, there’s something wrong,’ and at that point her eyes rolled in the back of her head and I laid her down and she started to convulse.”