Back from the dead
As it was me who took the pictures mostly. I can't find any ,of myself as rescue diver unfortunately. from 1981 - 1999 it was my job as a fireman. The story i gonna tell you is, again, a special moment in my life. Although i was not the one who saved his life, but i was the one he said thank you to. I remember it was an easy day at the fire station, but forgot the year it happened.
I believe we where at our new fire station maybe 5 or 6 years so let say it was in the spring of1990, when i am wrong i change the date later on. In the morning of my shift the fire chief told me someone wanted to met me. A guy we rescued last winter. I told him it wasn't me that saved him, for the reason that i remember all the jobs i did in my life. However i looked forward to met him. They told me he was under the ice for 20 minutes. At that moment i realized that something pretty big was going to happen here. In the afternoon i met him, he was an English or Irish student who lived in holland, maybe 25 years of age. For me it felt scary to shake his hand while i asked him how he was. He told me he was fine,only his fingers where painful and hard to bend. I'll asked him to tell me his story, and this is what he told me. Last winter it was really cold and i walked every day with my dog in the vondelpark. The dog liked the pond covered with ice, so we played on the ice every day. The weather changed and the ice got thinner, after some days even to thin to walk on. My dog was not aware of this, so when we arrived at the pond of the park, he ran on the thin ice, and impulsive as i was, i ran after him for i was afraid he fell through the ice.At the moment i realized, it was more dangerous for me as for him, it was to late. I went through the ice on a thin spot, and got stuck under it, because of the shallow debt of the pond. The incident was noticed by people around who called 911. The rescue divers pulled me out, 20 minutes later, they told me.
I asked him what he remembered, if he saw "the light". He told me, there was nothing after he fell into the cold water. It turned black until he came back alive in the hospital many weeks later. Everything i tell you know, he said, they told me when i awaked some weeks later in the hospital. Immediately they started with CPR and brought me to a hospital nearby. Because of the CPR, my heart began to pump in the ambulance when we drove to the hospital. In the hospital, it took a team of doctors, 8 hours to warm my body. They opened my chest to clean my lunges and inside chest from the dirty water, while they exclusively learned, drowning victims will die of pneumonia, many days after the rescue. My recovery took about one year, but here i am. When he left the fire station, it occurred to me, many drowning victims we tried to rescue over the past few years, could have been saved. If we knew all of this before. This is what i try to explain in my words to you. Because i met this guy who game back from the dead, i realized others, before him, didn't make it, they were pronounced dead when we took them out of the water, we laid a blanket over them. But as time goes on, we learn, we become better, we know more, we learn from each other. I remember that day i was happy for him , but more sad for the ones who did not survived it. Talk to you Next time.