Athens, Alabama – Moments in our lives change the course of history for ourselves and those around us. For Eric Michael White of Harvest, Alabama, one moment in particular had a major impact, because in that moment, at just 15 months old, his life was saved. Eric wrote the following in hopes of finding that hero that helped save his life 38 years ago.
“On July 15th, 1982, when I was 15 months old, I drowned in the bathtub at our home at 710 2nd Avenue in Athens, Alabama. I was unresponsive and had no heartbeat. After my siblings ran into the kitchen and told my mom that I went to sleep in the bathtub, she ran in there and found my lifeless body. She described me as feeling like a rubber doll and my skin color was blue. She recalled running out the front of the house holding me and screaming, ‘My baby is dead! My baby is dead! Please! Somebody help!’, hoping a nearby neighbor would be able to hear her and help. That day, there just happened to be someone visiting at a neighbor’s home who knew what to do. This gentleman heard her screams, ran across the street, and pried my body from my mother’s hands. He took me to the neighbor’s home, a couple of houses down from ours, and placed me on their kitchen table and began CPR, breathing life back into me. The gentleman was able to get me breathing again as the ambulance arrived to take me to the hospital. My dad told me later that he remembered receiving the call at his job that his son had drowned and died. My dad worked for GM in Tanner, Alabama, and said he jumped in his car and was flooring it all the way to Athens-Limestone Hospital. He told me that Athens Police were chasing him, because they didn’t know why he was speeding, but he never slowed down or stopped for them. My dad drove straight to the hospital and when he arrived, jumped out of his vehicle and ran into the hospital, telling the officers that his son had drowned. I sometimes think about the events of that day and that man who just happened to be in the ‘right place’ at the ‘right time’ to save my life. At the time, the doctors weren’t even sure if I would ever be able to learn to walk or talk, because of the damage they believed had been done for lack of oxygen for an extended period of time. In spite of this, I did recover and I do live a normal life, all because of the timing of that man who was visiting his friends on the night of July 15th, 1982. His quick action, running across the street and taking me to administer CPR immediately, saved my life! To this day, I still don’t know who he was, but, if he’s still around, I’d like to thank this hero for saving my life.”
If you would like to help Eric find who this hero was, please share this story. If you have information, you can email The Mark White Show at TheMarkWhiteShow@gmail.com.