SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – An Upstate teenager suffered a severe allergic reaction, which could have been deadly. His coaches acted fast and ended up saving his life.
Two track and field coaches at Dorman High School said they were just preparing for a regular track meet, when it quickly turned into a situation of life or death. They said they’re beyond thankful for all their training that allowed them to step in to help.
“I was like, I’m scared, I’m scared and then I knew it wasn’t going to be good,” said Ray Busby.
Raymond Busby, who goes by Ray, is in his first year of track. His event is the long jump.
Earlier this month, he was on his way to a track meet.
“I got on the bus, and I was drinking a strawberry milkshake. But once I consumed it, I knew something was wrong,” said Busby.
He saw the drink had cashews, to which he is severely allergic.
“I tried to calm myself down, tried to do breathing exercises, but I just realized it was getting worse,” he said.
Once off the bus, he told his coaches and everyone sprang into action. One coach ran to get the trainer at T.L. Hanna, while another was trying to calm Busby down.
“Then I sat down and that’s when I passed out,” said Busby.
Head coach Jeff Johns and hurdles coach Tariq Caudle acted quickly.
“He kind of just went out. When he lost consciousness, Coach Caudle looked at me and immediately started saying coach, grab his feet. We gotta get him to the ground,” said Coach Johns.
“It was very scary, scary because it’s not natural for someone to be on the ground, not breathing. On top of that, it was a child,” said Caudle.
“It kind of caught me off-guard. As we got Ray to the ground, we both realized, at that point, that he wasn’t breathing,” stated Johns.
Johns was checking Busby’s vitals while Caudle administered CPR.
“I kind of went into a moment of darkness for a second, because I really was trying my hardest to get him to breathe right then and there,” said Coach Caudle.
Caudle said it was almost as if time had stopped, until the CPR started working.
“He took the gasp and I immediately stopped, and Coach Johns took over. Because I was so relieved that he took that breath,” he said.
Three EpiPens later, Busby said he woke up in the hospital.
“It was Thursday around 11, I passed out on Wednesday around 5:08,” said Busby.
His mother, Latasha Bowser, said she was on her way to the meet, when she got the call and rushed to the hospital.
“It was definitely tough to see him on a ventilator, not breathing on his own. I’m very proud of him for fighting, but I’m also proud of everyone who was there to support and fight for him too,” she said.
Day by day, Busby is getting back his strength and visited everyone at practice on Monday.
“Being able to see him, hug him, see his smile and see his personality. That meant everything,” said Coach Caudle.
“The only thing that we wanted was for Ray to be here,” said Coach Johns.
“I wouldn’t be here without them,” said Busby,
“My son was not breathing, and they helped bring him back for life. For that, I am deeply grateful and appreciative,” said Bowser.
Bowser also wants to thank Dorman High School, and the district, of being so supportive of her family.
Busby said this wasn’t the first time he’s gone into anaphylactic shock, but it was the scariest. He said he is hoping that he’ll back on the track after spring break.
Support has been spread throughout the school. During the meet, Coach Johns said the entire group stopped and the team bowed their heads to pray for Busby as he went to the hospital.