Carlos Arredondo, a Costa Rican immigrant, was at the race to cheer for a friend who was running in honor of his son, who died fighting in Iraq almost a decade ago, according to the Portland Press Herald.
Immediately after the blast, he ran across the street and started tearing out chunks of a fence that separated the crowd from the runners. He and others immediately began tending to the victims.
“They had to be four or five deep on the sidewalk,” John Mixon, who was with Arredondo trying to save people at the bloody scene, told the newspaper. “They were all spectators. I don’t think any of the runners got hit at all.”
The Costa Rican used his clothes and towels to apply tourniquets to maimed victims lying on the street. Many were beyond help, their wounds too severe.
“There was blood on the floor. There was blood everywhere,” a still visibly shaken Arredondo told reporters, according to a YouTube clip. “Then, all you see is limbs everywhere. I mean, everywhere.”
He said he tried to help a man who lost his legs in the blast.
“I tied up his legs, talked to him, let him know the ambulance was coming,” Arredondo said. “I let him know the ambulance was coming. I said, ‘Don’t worry, you are OK. You are going to be OK.’
Then he began wheeling victims to a medical triage at the site. It was then, wearing his cowboy hat, that a photo that captured his heroism was published throughout the world.
While he is enjoying almost celebrity status now, Arredondo’s life has not always been easy. According to Mother Jones, the day Arredondo was told his son had died vehicle fire.
After dealing with this, he became a peace activist.
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose Costa Rica