A family in Mountain Brook, Alabama, is incredibly grateful for the gift of life today after nearly losing husband and father Brad Hassig.
Hassig, a chiropractor, likes to meditate and has a habit of using the family pool as a calming atmosphere to pray and reflect.
On June 14, Hassig was in the pool with his twin sons Bridon and Christian, who are 10, and neighbor boy Sam, 11, while Hassig’s wife was at work. The boys played while he did his breathing exercises and sat underwater in the shallow end of the pool.
“We were just swimming,” Hassig recalled, according to Good Morning America. “The boys were having fun. I like to do just some calming, breathing exercises in the waters, which entails just sitting underwater.
“I was saying the Lord’s Prayer. And I just, I don’t ever remember finishing it.”
As he blacked out, the kids continued to play — but they realized at some point that something was wrong. It was Christian who first sounded the alarm.
“Christian noticed that Brad was not sitting in his regular way whenever he does this exercise, and put on goggles to swim to him,” a post from Hassig Family Chiropractic, written by Lori, reads.
“Brad was blue and on his side. Bridon, Christian and Sam pulled Brad to the pool steps.”
The boys, while far smaller than their father, managed to summon the strength to get their dad above the waterline and to the steps of the pool. Bridon remembers that someone else was helping them at the time, too.
“There is no way we should have been able to do that,” Bridon said. “I just had a moment where Jesus was standing right behind us the whole time.”
Dad recognized the providence in the situation as well.
“They weigh, what 80, 80-some pounds around there, and I weigh 185 pounds,” he said, according to ABC News. “So they shouldn’t have been able to physically do what they did. I mean everything just went as perfectly as it probably had to have.”
While none of the boys had CPR training, they had an idea of what it needed to look like thanks to movies like “The Sandlot” and “Hook,” and Bridon did his best to give his dad mouth-to-mouth and pounded on his chest, according to a post by WVTM 13’s Rick Karle.
Meanwhile, Sam and Christian tried to unlock Hassig’s phone to call for help, but they were unable to, so they ran for help.
“Christian ran to find someone to call 911,” Lori’s post continued. “He stopped a car driving by, and that person called 911. I do not know who it was, but I am forever grateful. Our neighbor saw all the trucks, and ran over and pulled Brad out of the water. He found his pulse and stayed with him and with all the police and EMTs until I could get there.”
That neighbor just so happened to be a cardiologist — another blessing.
As Hassig started to claw his way back to consciousness, the first thing he heard was his sons pleading with him.
“I hear the boys saying, you know, ‘Daddy, come back!’ and ‘Daddy, you have to be OK!'” he said.
Hassig ended up spending some time at the hospital in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, but was able to go home to his family thanks to his boys, neighbor kid Sam, and the other good Samaritans who stepped in to help.
“It’s hard to believe,” Hassig said of the ordeal. “It’s very humbling. I’m so grateful.”
“I am so unbelievably thankful for all of our neighbors, friends and family that have texted, called, helped me with our children, and most importantly praying for us,” Lori write. “Thank you, God, for giving those 3 boys the strength to save my husband. You are our heroes forever and ever.”
Now the family is planning a community CPR workshop so that others can brush up on their life-saving skills. Hassig has decided to ditch the underwater meditations and has a word of advice, especially for the more independent: “Absolutely don’t ever swim alone.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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