Twins Save Their Dad From Drowning, Reminding Us That Every Family Member Should Learn CPR

One dad is urging families to play it safe near the water this summer by taking CPR courses after his scary brush with drowning in the family pool.

First Aid And Cpr Training Using Automated External Defibrillator Device - Aed
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One dad in Alabama is sharing his frightening brush with death to remind families everywhere that it pays to know CPR after he nearly drowned in the family pool.

Brad Hassig told ABCNews about the incident that started when he was practicing underwater meditation breathing exercises, something he says he'd done plenty of times before. But something went wrong, and he lost consciousness.

"We were just swimming. The boys were having fun. I like to do just some calming, breathing exercises in the waters, which entails just sitting underwater," Hassig explained in an interview with Birmingham ABC affiliate WBMA. "I was saying the Lord's Prayer. And I just, I don't ever remember finishing it."

Underwater meditation is what it sounds like; the practice of guided meditation underwater. It is growing in popularity among scuba divers and yoga enthusiasts looking to advance their meditation experiences and is usually performed with either a snorkel to allow for breathing or by holding your breath and listening to your body and surrounding water. Not surprisingly, this method of meditation challenges one to hold their breath for as long as possible.

According to the CDC, one aspect of drowning prevention is to avoid holding one's breath for extended periods. Swimmers who hold their breath for too long can experience "hypoxic blackout" or "shallow water blackout," which is when they pass out underwater and drown.

Unfortunately for Hassig, it appears that holding his breath led to him passing out underwater.

Thankfully, Hassig's kids, 10-year-old twin sons Bridon and Christian, as well as a neighborhood child, were in the pool with him and saw what happened. The boys quickly worked to pull their 185-pound father toward the side of the pool and began life-saving CPR.

"They weigh, what 80, 80-some pounds around there, and I weigh 185 pounds. So they shouldn't have been able to physically do what they did," Hassig told WBMA. "I mean, everything just went as perfectly as it probably had to have."

The boys shared with WBMA that they had no training in CPR, but they did remember some scenes from the classic 90s movies Hook and The Sandlot. They knew to start chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth while their neighborhood friend ran to get help since they couldn't unlock their dad's iPhone.

Hassig's story is an excellent reminder that CPR is an essential life skill that even kids can learn, especially during the summer months when families are hitting the pool or natural bodies of water to enjoy swimming and water sports.

Drowning kills 4,000 people yearly and is the number one cause of injury-related deaths for kids under four. To prevent drownings, families can take a few proactive steps that help keep every safe such as taking basic swim lessons, wearing life vests, and learning CPR.

According to ABCNews, the Hassig family urges others to be cautious around water and learn CPR. They are currently planning a community event to help other families get CPR training to prevent other incidents like this from happening again.

If you are interested in learning CPR, many organizations around the country can help you gain these life-saving skills. If your community is not currently offering a class, you can find some excellent online classes that include infant and child CPR.

According to the CDC, you don't necessarily need formal training in order to perform CPR on someone. They recommend that anyone in an emergency situation that requires CPR call 9-1-1 first. Then attempt to give CPR by pressing down firmly and quickly on the center of the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 pushes a minute. A straightforward way to do that is to think of the beat of the song Staying Alive. The CDC also says to keep giving CPR until medical help arrives.

Learning CPR as a family is a great way to make sure everyone feels empowered to help when the need arises. It's also a great reminder that no matter how seasoned anyone is at swimming or how comfortable they feel near water, no one is ever 100% safe from drowning.

You can learn more about signing up for in-person CPR classes by dialing 2-1-1 to find out local resources.

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