A Tennessee wrestler was about to face one of the biggest matches of his high school career Thursday when he took on a much more serious challenge before he took to the mat.
The 17-year-old junior from Heritage High School in Maryville helped save a life.
Schuyler LaRue expected to face an important task this weekend as he competes in the TSSAA wrestling finals in Franklin.
But as he was in the men's restroom at the Williamson County Expo Center, he saw a man in trouble. Ron Bussey was having a heart attack.
"He stopped breathing and lost a pulse, so I started CPR," LaRue said.
A team of medical experts then took over to help save Bussey's life.
LaRue said he knew exactly what to do because of a class he'd taken.
"Last year I took a lifeguard course," he said.
John Kramer is a friend of the man whose life the young man helped save.
"They said he was gone for a little bit. If it wasn't for him starting CPR right away and using the defibrillator that was hanging in the building, he wouldn't be around," Kramer said.
LaRue's quick thinking was the talk of his school Friday in East Tennessee.
"What's really amazing about it is a young man trying to get himself mentally and physically prepared to go out and wrestle one of the biggest matches in his life and having to perform an act to save a human being," said Heritage Principal Earl McMahan.
While LaRue went on to lose his match Thursday night, on Friday he was unstoppable, winning a bout in the consolation round.
Win or lose, he's made his mark on those in the arena and across the state.
"He's a hero to me. He's amazing," Kramer said.
LaRue said he's no hero, rather he just did what needed to be done.
Bussey was able to return home Friday. He told friends his chest was still sore, but he was happy to be alive.
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