Tri-City Medical Center Helps Patients Become Runners
Each year, the Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside trains 13 patients into becoming runners. They've been dubbed "The Lucky 13."
The participants — who have overcome cancer, addiction, eating disorders, amputation, Parkinsons, stroke/heart attack, and even a lightning strike — are trained to run the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January.
This year though, two participants chose to complete the Triple Crown, a series of three half marathons in San Diego County.
Melissa Cappuccilli, who received a heart transplant nearly two years ago, said she couldn't walk when she started the running program.
"It had gotten to the point where walking between five to 10 feet, I would stop," Cappuccilli said. "I'd be short of breath, my lips would be blue, I'd be shaking. I was literally right on the verge of passing out."
Tina Knight, Cappuccilli's running partner, lost her toes because of a blood infection, which led to organ failure.
"I was in a coma for eight days," Knight said. "They told me my kidneys would never function again."
Despite the obstacles, both patients — now runners — have completed two marathons. They'll complete America’s Finest City Half Marathon on Sunday.
"I'm living life for me and for everyone around me," Cappuccilli said.