Pleasanton coach, bystanders aided bicyclist in cardiac arrest

Martinez man recovering at home after collapsing near Foothill High

The high school softball coach drove down Foothill Road, thinking how she should have taken a more direct route to the interstate. Instead, her detour put her smack-dab in the middle of a medical emergency that, thanks to her and a legion of responders, stopped short of a tragedy.

Pleasanton resident Teri Johnson was on the way to a friend's wedding around 10 a.m. on Oct. 16 when she saw a bicyclist laying motionless in the middle of Foothill Road near Foothill High. Johnson stopped her car and rushed to help while another onlooker called 9-1-1.

She knelt down by Jon Crone, a 47-year-old married father of two, who was unconscious due to sudden cardiac arrest.

Crone, of Martinez, had used this particular Friday to squeeze in a solid bicycle ride -- 30 miles to 50 miles -- at a time when duties and chores could wait just a little longer. He had biked to his office in San Ramon to pick up a few items, rode down to Kilkare Woods in Sunol and was headed home when a heart attack took hold.

Johnson, a varsity softball coach at Union City's James Logan High, moved Crone's bike aside and started to perform CPR. Her training had come in handy twice before, she recalled -- once when one of her students' parents collapsed at a softball game, and once in Mexico when she saved a drowning swimmer.

Between compressions, she said, she shouted orders at Crone.

"Doing this to him, I was kind of in a coaching mode. I was, 'Come on you're not going to die. Come on, you can do this. Stay with me,'" Johnson said. She saw his "in case of emergency" bracelet with his wife's name, Lisa. "Stay with me; you have a wife."

She said she'd done four rounds of compressions when Pleasanton police officer Travis Oliver arrived with a defibrillator. Oliver gave Crone a shock with the machine and then resumed CPR compressions while another bystander used a breathing mask to keep air in Crone's lungs.

Oliver said another bystander directed traffic away from the site, another called Crone's wife and others waited for instructions.

"Everybody there who was outside of their cars was actively playing a part in trying to save this guy's life," he said.

Oliver kept up compressions, but he hadn't found a pulse yet. Then, Crone started breathing again, and soon after an ambulance arrived to take him to Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare.

Once Crone was on the way to the hospital, Johnson headed off to her friend's wedding, but said something felt incomplete. Was he OK? Did it work?

The next morning, Johnson went to Stanford Health Care-ValleyCare in Pleasanton. She found herself outside his room, waiting.

"The nurses told me she was there and asked if I wanted to meet her," Jon's wife, Lisa Crone, said. "I went out and just hugged her and started crying and saying, 'You're an angel.'"

"I cried and she cried," Johnson said. The nurses cried. "It was unbelievable emotion. It was so emotional you didn't really realize it until I got there."

Crone said he is doing well and is recovering at home. He said he doesn't remember collapsing on the road, but it feels "unbelievable" that help arrived at the right time.

"Thinking about stuff like that is overwhelming," Crone said. "I don't think of stuff like this, especially since I didn't have any problems prior to this or warnings."

Oliver said CPR training is an essential tool any person can learn, and knowing how to respond to an emergency is an invaluable resource.

"It does take quick thinking in action to be able to do accurately," he said.

Oliver said he was relieved that so many residents stepped forward and were "actively willing to help a stranger save his life."

"People were trying to do what they could do to help," he said.

Lisa Crone said her husband's heart attack was caused by blocked arteries and a clot in his heart, but there is a "good diagnosis for the future."

"Everything seems like it's going to be moving on and getting better," she said.

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44 people like this
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Pheasant Ridge
on Nov 8, 2015 at 9:39 pm

What an amazing story. Teri you are a hero.

28 people like this
Posted by Amazing
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2015 at 8:16 am

What a wonderful story. Hope Jon continues to heal. And a big thanks to all the heros who helped him.

34 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Rez
a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Nov 9, 2015 at 8:43 am

Now this is the type of news that I love to read about. bless all those people who were there to help a man in need. Teri Johnson may your angel wings spread wide and embrace those her are helpless and Jon Crone get well soon!!!

8 people like this
Posted by Lifer
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 9, 2015 at 9:55 am

What makes this story great is the stepping up of what may be called an average person or persons who are involved in all that surrounds them. Making an effort to do but MAKING a HUGE impact on the life and lives of others. We are all HERE wanting the same things out of life, happiness, love, prosperity, being concerned of. We should all try, everyday, to make a difference. Just goes to show. We're not really only average, we're all special. Each of us is important to more people than we think!

6 people like this
Posted by Proud
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 9, 2015 at 9:56 am

Love that she and others stopped to help. So many people tend to not want to get involved. They all saved a life and should be proud. A father, husband, son, uncle, will live.

2 people like this
Posted by Lover of Life!
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 9, 2015 at 1:59 pm

People ROCK! ;-)

Like this comment
Posted by Rick Cirina
a resident of Stoneridge
on Nov 9, 2015 at 6:06 pm

What a great service and courageous actions , good job everyone 😍😍😍

3 people like this
Posted by VBelloni
a resident of another community
on Nov 10, 2015 at 10:09 am

I work with Coach Johnson,she is alot of fun and a sweet lady, didn't know she was a superhero too :)

Like this comment
Posted by Bridget
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 10, 2015 at 3:10 pm

I think I better take a CPR refresher course. Who should I call to schedule this class?

Like this comment
Posted by Cholo
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 21, 2015 at 10:11 am

The American Red Cross offers courses in CPR. I strongly recommend that all adults and teens lean CPR.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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Nominations due by Sept. 16

Pleasanton Weekly and are once again putting out a call for nominations and sponsorships for the annual Tri-Valley Heroes awards - our salute to the community members dedicated to bettering the Tri-Valley and the lives of its residents.

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