Chad Berg — Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle designer

Chad Berg
Age 15
Diagnosis: Hypothermia and cardiac arrest
Shoe: Air Force 1

Last January, Chad Berg took a spill in his kayak and spent 90 minutes in the icy water. By the time he was rescued, he was in full cardiac arrest with no pulse and an internal temperature of 73 degrees. Essentially, he was lifeless.

But Chad’s doctors weren’t about to let that happen. After nearly three hours of CPR in Albany, the medical team transferred Chad to OHSU Doernbecher and put him on a machine that could do the work for his heart and lungs while he recovered. Incredibly, he was back in action within two weeks with no neurological damage at all.

“I spent an hour and a half in 41-degree water and I had a body temperature of 73 degrees. I flatlined in the Albany ER and was shocked 13 times during 2 and 1/2 hours of CPR. I believe in miracles,” Chad said.

Chad’s Nike/Doernbecher Freestyle shoe achieves incredible feats with its groundbreaking glow-in-the-dark outsole. The upper sports Chad’s favorite shade of University of Oregon green, reflective details and carbon fiber panels that are (almost) as tough as he is.

Inside the shoe, you’ll find one of his favorite sayings: “The people who turn out the best are the people who make the best out of how things turn out.”

That’s a lesson that Chad has clearly learned. He said the experience has motivated him to achieve dreams in life. And as for the doctors and staff who didn’t give up on Chad, he has one thing to say: “I can’t thank you enough. You gave me back my life.”


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Willow Bacon
Salix Creative

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  1. Fantastic story and i love the shoe!

About the Author

Tamara Hargens-Bradley is associate director of media relations in the OHSU Strategic Communications department.
Doernbecher Best in the Country U.S. News & World Report


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