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Pregnant Ex-Olympian Meskerem Legesse Collapses, Dies, Baby Saved (Video)

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A former Olympic and professional runner from Ethiopia who was three weeks away from giving birth has died, but doctors were able to save her baby. Meskerem Legesse, 26, was with her 2-year-old son when she toppled over at a Chinese restaurant. After being taken to the hospital, she died, but the baby survived.

Her friend, Fatima Sene, said the cause of death was unknown but that Legesse had suffered heart problems in the past.

"It is very sad," Sene said. "She was a very good person. She would do anything for anybody. And she loved that little boy she left behind."

According to Hamden Fire Chief David Berardesca, CPR efforts that were performed by paramedics in the restaurant and ambulance allowed doctors to save the baby, Newsday reported.

The state medical examiner's office declined to perform an autopsy because of Legesse's past health problems, according to a spokeswoman.

Legesse ran in the 1,500 meter competition at the Athens Olympics in 2004 but did not advance to the medal round. Her children are now with their father and Sene said that the couple was planning to get married.

Arrangements are being made to bring Legesse's body to Ethiopia.

A video about the incident is below:

Sources: NewsdayMSN Now