Friday, April 10, 2009

Man Saves Fellow Gym Member From Drowning

“After a workout at his gym, Ricky Underwood, 21, hit the sauna. In the pool nearby, he noticed two people swimming. ‘I noticed a lady walking back and forth to the pool with a frantic look on her face, yelling something, so I took off my headphones,’ Underwood said. ‘I saw him struggling, like the hands up, and a big voice,’ witness Eleni Zhedi said. The signs are clearly posted, no lifeguard on duty. Vishal Kumar is a beginning swimmer and he was in trouble. ‘Suddenly, I started panicking. I couldn't shout also because my head was beneath the water,’ Kumar said. Underwood went toward the pool to get a closer look at what was happening. ‘That's when I walked over here and I noticed him at the bottom of the pool. I kind of paused over here for a second and looked at him,’ Underwood said. ‘And then he was down. After that he was down, quiet,’ Zhedi said. ‘I knew this was the last moment of my life, so it was like, I have seen the face of death,’ Kumar said. ‘It just took me but a quick second to think, I am jumping in,’ Underwood said. ‘When I actually got him out of the water he was completely dead weight. He had no reaction. His arms were dangling by his side, he was not breathing.’ Underwood said anyone would have done the same, but with with precious minutes passing by, not everyone might know how to perform CPR. ‘His eyes shot open, but he was unresponsive to any commands. I said, 'Are you OK?'’ ‘I concluded that I had died. I just wished ... who would take care of my son and my family?’ Kumar said. A security guard at Lowell General Hospital, Underwood said he's learned to keep his cool. ‘I just thought about the kid. If I lost him, what would the kid do with no father? That's all I could think about,’ he said. At the hospital, Kumar's 4-year-old son Vibhu and his wife watched his recovery, forever grateful. ‘He's a God send. Just a miracle. I am alive because of him. No matter what I say, God bless him,’ Kumar said of Underwood.”

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