An Alabama dad got an unexpected gift he’s not likely to forget when his two young sons and their friend saved him from drowning just days before Father’s Day.
Brad Hassig of Mountain Brook, Alabama, said he was doing “breathing exercises” in the backyard swimming pool when he suddenly lost consciousness, WBRC reported.
Hassig, who had been swimming with his ten-year-old sons Bridon and Christian and their friend Sam Ebert that day, said he often prayed the Our Father during his breathing exercises, but didn’t remember finishing the prayer, the outlet reported.
That’s when Hassig’s sons and their friend knew something was wrong.
“I could see he was shaking a bunch and then he just laid on his side,” Hassig’s son Christian told WBRC. “Since I had goggles on, I could see his face was turning very light blue. I told Bridon, ‘Dad’s not okay.’”
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Bridon told the outlet that he and his friend “dove into the water,” each taking hold of one of Hassig’s shoulders. “We just dragged him to the steps,” he said.
While Christian ran for help, Bridon began CPR, WBRC reported.
The ten-year-old told the outlet after giving his father chest compressions, he began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. His previously unresponsive father then “started throwing up foam and salt water and blood,” he told WBRC. (RELATED: Team USA Coach Rescues Swimmer After Fainting In The Pool)
Hassig told the outlet that when he “kind of came to,” he began “coughing up blood and water, struggling to breathe,” while one of his sons screamed, “Daddy, daddy, come back!”
Hassig was taken via ambulance to the emergency room at Grandview Medical Center, where he spent the night in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, the outlet reported. The following day, he was released from the hospital.
“I mean it’s just emotions are just overwhelming you that your boys saved your life,” he told WBRC. “There’s no way physically that they should have been able to do what they did.”
“I mean, it’s a God thing,” he said, according to the outlet. “God’s hand was all over it.”
While Hassig’s sons told the outlet they knew what to do thanks to having seen rescues in the movies, the family said the near-death experience has prompted them to “set up a group training to help certify both adults and children on how to do CPR,” WBRC reported.
Recommending that nobody swim alone, Hassig told the outlet he is proud of his sons and grateful for their brave actions.
“I love them,” he told WRBC. “I’ll be grateful for the rest of my life.”