At a reunion on Sunday, a Honolulu Ocean Safety Lifeguard took the opportunity to thank the good Samaritans who recently saved his life.
In January this year, the ‘First responder’ was the one in need of saving as a medical episode almost claimed his life.
While swimming laps at the Oahu Club pool, lifeguard Norm Skorge suffered a cardiac arrest and sank to the bottom of the pool.
Skorge said he had started to feel unwell, and then “everything went black.”
Joe Lileikes; Skorge’s long-time friend; jumped into the pool after noticing something wasn’t right and used all his strength to pull the 200-pound lifeguard out of the water.
“I saw Norm stuck under the lane line. I don’t even know how I got him out,” Lileikes said.
Bystanders called 911 as Lileikes performed chest compressions until Emergency Medical Services (EMS) arrived just minutes later. After being defibrillated by paramedics, Skorge became responsive.
Local news outlet KHON2 reported that Skorge was taken to hospital where he underwent a stent operation after doctors found a 90 percent blockage of a major artery in his heart.
“I’m alive today because of bystander’s CPR – because of me being in trouble and someone yelling for help,” Skorge said, adding;
“I’m alive today because my buddy Joe Lileikes who jumped in the pool and threw me on the deck and began CPR.”
In the emotional reunion on Sunday, the lifeguard showed his gratitude to the people responsible for saving his life, including EMS personnel.
According to KHON2, Skorge will continue his work as an Ocean Safety 911 dispatcher and supervisor.