His name is Orintheus Buster, and he doesn't consider himself a hero. But he turned out to be exactly that, and exactly who a half-marathon runner in full cardiac arrest needed at the most critical moment in her life.
We met Bailey Adam, 27, on Thursday at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, where she met and thanked the paramedics and doctors who saved her life after she collapsed on mile 12 of the half-marathon two weeks ago. She has a congenital heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a thickening of the walls of the heart and the leading cause of cardiac arrest death in young athletes. But she'd successfully run long distances before and didn't think her first-half marathon would be an issue either.
After several days in the hospital, where doctors implanted a defibrillator in her chest in case her heart stops or goes into dangerous arrhythmia again, she and hospital personnel issued a public plea, via News 8, to find the other Good Samaritans who were the first to help her. Bailey, with very little memory of any part of that day, says she was told several people stopped to help and performed CPR for up to five minutes until paramedics arrived to take over.
"I don't know if they were watching or running," she told us. "But I'm just so glad they were there."
"So there was like an angel looking over you that day," one paramedic told her.
Actually, there were four angels. And we found one - Orintheus Buster.
"I heard a couple people just yelling," the 3-year DISD Police officer said. He was assigned to the 12-mile mark of the race to provide help and support if needed. It was. When Bailey Adam collapsed, he ran to help. Two other runners in the race, who told Buster they were a doctor and a nurse, advised CPR as she began to slip away.
"I'm glad that I had the strength to keep on going," he said.
Buster performed CPR, one of the women started mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, and then a 4th "angel" appeared. He says a male runner stopped, placed his hand on the officer's shoulder, his other hand on Bailey's leg, and began to pray: a "magical" prayer Buster calls it.
"The guy that put his arm on me and touched her and said the prayer, I think that might have been the most powerful thing that happened," he said.
It was the most powerful moment, until Friday afternoon.
DISD Police had already planned a promotion ceremony for some of its officers. They decided to use the occasion to also give a commendation to Officer Buster for saving Bailey's Adam's life. The audience broke into applause when the Police Chief told them what he had done.
But what Officer Buster didn't know, is that Bailey and her mom Sharla learned about the event and were secretly sitting in the back row.
Sharla Adam said she wanted to hug the neck of the person who saved her daughter, and she wasn't going to pass up on that chance.
"Bailey," he said, asking if it was really her. "You don't know how I feel right now. I appreciate you. I'm glad everything's OK with you," Officer Buster told her.
Sharla Adam then grabbed him for that promised hug. "Oh thank you so much," she said.
"Whew man, this is overwhelming," the officer said.
"I can't thank you enough," Bailey told him.
"It's wonderful. I mean I'm OK. And it's just really nice to meet someone who would go that far," she said.
"It was nice to be able to connect with him and thank him and encourage others to do the same," Sharla Adam said.
"I hope you are a man of faith," Sharla Adam asked.
"Oh yes, I believe in God," Officer Buster said.
"If you were not, you are now, right," she said as they all laughed.
Bailey still hopes to find the other runners who stopped to help, including the man who said that "magical prayer."
A prayer answered...by a hero.