Officers help man with broken hip finish marathon

After a runner’s hip broke in the last few miles of the race, two police officers stepped up to help him cross the

CHICAGO (WBBM/WLS/CNN) – After a Chicago Marathon runner broke his hip during the race, two police officers stepped up to help him finish the final miles.

Edward Hensley, 47, says his ninth straight Chicago Marathon is one he’ll never forget. He learned after the Sunday race that he ran most of it with a broken hip.

The military intelligence specialist, who served in Desert Storm, says he felt some minor pain in his left thigh the morning of the race but not enough to keep him from running.

But around the marathon’s 24th mile, Hensley says he felt something snap. His left hip had broken. He sat down on the ground and couldn’t get back up.

“I was in so much pain,” Hensley said.

Chicago Police Officer Joseph Siska was working the marathon detail and helped Hensley get to a nearby aid station.

“I just told him, I said, ‘You know, if you really want to do this, we can make it happen. I’ll help you,’” Siska said. “I’m telling you with strong confidence, any police officer that would have been at my post in my position, they would have done the same thing.”

Hensley says Siska’s offer to help gave him hope and got him back on his feet.

“Hearing that from him, it just gave me hope, and it made me want to get up and move forward,” Hensley said.

The unlikely duo limped together for about a block before another policeman, Probationary Officer Alfredo Martinez, saw them and asked if he could help.

“He [Hensley] had made a joke or something and said, ‘I wish I had a cane.’ [We] grabbed a folding chair, and he used it as a cane – off he went,” Martinez said.

With the chair as Hensley’s cane, it took the three men more than an hour to walk the final 2.6 miles. They stopped frequently to give the runner a break from his excruciating pain.

During these breaks, the three talked about their families: how Siska was about to become a father and how running helped Hensley through he and his wife’s struggle to start a family.

The officers say they’ve never seen someone with such determination.

“I told them that we weren’t going to stop. The end would be when we go across that finish line,” Hensley said.

Tiffany Clark

As the men neared the finish line, Hensley used a borrowed phone to call his wife, who along with his 7-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son, recorded him hopping on his right leg across the finish line.

Wednesday, as he recovers in the hospital, Hensley says it’s unclear if he’ll be able to run marathons again, but he’s grateful to the officers, who are now forever friends.

“I’ll be forever grateful that they had hearts that big,” Hensley said. “It means a lot to me. What started off as one officer and then two officers helping me turned into two friends that I’ll have for the rest of my life.”

Doctors say Hensley must have fractured his hip during training. The runner had surgery to stabilize his left hip and will start rehab after his release from the hospital.

Hensley says when he’s able to get back up on his feet, he plans to meet with his new friends – and heroes – again.

Copyright 2017 WBBM, Edward Hensley via CNN. All rights reserved. WLS contributed to this report.

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