Faith and religion has always been a large part of Tyler Moon's life. He's also a regular runner, and recently signed up to run a 10-mile race in Minneapolis. Wanting to declare his faith openly, Moon decided to put "Jesus Save" on his race bib, hoping it might inspire someone in the crowd.
Instead, the bib's message was eerily prophetic that day in early October when the 25-year-old had a heart attack and collapsed around mile 8 of the race. About a dozen people rushed to help the young man, administering CPR and calling an ambulance. Among them? A runner named Jesus.
Jesus Bueno goes by Jesse, and is a certified registered nurse anesthetist. He was one of the first to reach Moon and helped save his life.
"As I'm running, I just kind of see, basically, the aftermath of him falling down," Bueno told TODAY. "Another gentleman went over there to check on him. Initially, I thought he was seizing. He kind of had little tonic motions, just kind of indicative of seizures. I got him on his side to assess him and look at him, then flipped him over on his back, once those motions subsided."
As Moon was gasping for air, Bueno worked to make it easier for him to breathe and checked his pulse.
At first, because of the run, Bueno had a hard time distinguishing his own pulse from Moon's.
"My pulse was around 170, so I couldn't quite tell them apart," he said. Bueno and others immediately realized Moon needed CPR, which they began performing. Paramedics were called and soon arrived to shock Moon's heart back into rhythm.
Bueno is quick to acknowledge the many people who helped save Moon.
Other runners who stepped in to help included radiology technician Dave Soucy, nurse Tommy Carlson, physician Grant Morrison and nurse anesthesist Jeni Renner. And there were other helpers, including medical volunteer Paul Larson, firefighters Vince Adams, Matt Simpson, Ben Ham and Jason Yamamoto, police officer Heather Gustafson and bystanders Allison Adams and Nicole Williams, according to the Star-Tribune.
"We all worked together," said Bueno. "It went pretty darn smooth, in the scheme of things."
Soon after the race, Bueno and his wife used Moon's race number, also present on the "JESUS SAVES" bib, to reach out to him on Facebook. Several days later, Moon's fiancee responded, saying that the young man was recovering and there was no sign of brain damage.
"It's the craziest race I've ever done," Bueno said. "The chance of surviving an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest is pretty darn slim. To hear that he basically has made a full recovery, it was just great."
Moon told TODAY he remembers very little of the race, and has no memory of anything after the first mile or so, something doctors attributed to his fall. However, he said he's been touched by how many helped him during the race, and with the kind comments that have come in as the story goes public.
He's been in touch with Bueno via text and hopes to see the other people who helped save his life at an upcoming dinner for race volunteers.
"The fact that God placed all these wonderful, incredible human beings right behind me; it's amazing to think of them and what they've done for me," he told TODAY.
Now, he's hoping that the story will inspire others.
"I hope that people are encouraged to take that CPR class, to help a stranger, to help someone in need," Moon said. "That's the big message I really want to get across."