FRANKLIN, Tenn. — Heritage wrestler Schuyler LaRue’s training as a summer lifeguard may have helped save a life at the state tournament.
The junior from the Maryville, Tenn., school administered CPR to Kingsport resident Ron Bussey, who collapsed in a restroom at the Williamson County Ag Expo prior to the start of the tournament Thursday afternoon.
Emergency personnel arrived from the far end of the facility and transported Bussey to Williamson Medical Center.
Bussey, 68, was in stable condition Thursday night, said Wilson Central coach John Kramer. Before moving to East Tennessee, Bussey was Kramer’s coach at Milford High School in Michigan.
“I had actually been in (the restroom), left, and thought I needed to go back,” said LaRue, who is in the 182-pound weight class. “I was in there and an elderly gentleman passed out. I saw him and thought he was stumbling, and he fell and hit his head.
“I got him in a neutral position and started doing compressions and just did what I needed to do. His pulse went in and out, and I just kept going until someone came in and tapped me on the shoulder and said I’m an (EMT).”
LaRue said he didn’t know how long he worked on Bussey. Three calls were put out over the expo center’s public address system for medical personnel.
LaRue composed himself to record a second-period pin of Brighton’s Essex Ramsey in the opening round of the tournament before losing to Fulton’s Steven Wilson in the round of 16.
“He’s a great kid, got a great head on his shoulders,” Heritage coach Jerry Teaster said. “It was great for him to react like that.
“He was worried about (Bussey). But he came back strong once they came back and said (Bussey) was OK and talking.”
Kramer said Bussey comes to the state tournament each year.
“He’s had some medical issues here and there, but we weren’t expecting this,” Kramer said.
Citing privacy concerns, onsite EMTs and medical staff declined comment.
Reach Maurice Patton at 615-259-8018 or firstname.lastname@example.org.