Bill Williams and his family vacation in Virginia every year, but this year their vacation memories will hold even greater meaning.
The Allentown, Pennsylvania police detective and his family were spending a leisurely day at Assateague Island National Seashore in Virginia when his wife, Marade, pointed to the water.
A man who had just been playing in the surf with his daughter and wife had collapsed in the water. Though the water was only knee-deep, the waves continued to roll up and onto the beach, leaving the man in jeopardy of drowning.
While the man’s wife struggled to pull him out of the water, Williams’ sprang into action and ran to help lifeguards pull the man to safety. Williams said that 59-year-old man did not have a pulse and was not breathing when they laid him on the beach.
Lifeguards immediately began doing chest compressions while Williams, who is trained in CPR, moved the man’s head to open and clear his airway. Additional lifeguards soon showed up with medical equipment and Williams stepped in to administer oxygen while an AED was attached to the dead man.
The AED delivered a first shock to the man’s heart and CPR was continued until a second shock was sent electronically. After two shocks, the man’s heart still wasn’t beating.
Marade Williams noticed the man’s wife standing alone, terrified and grief-stricken. She put her arm around her and began to pray.
Williams and the team of lifeguards continued manual CPR for several more minutes until the man gasped and started breathing on his own. Soon the man regained consciousness and was able to communicate with medics before heading to the hospital.
The stricken man’s wife called Williams the following day and told him her husband was on track to be released from the hospital the following day.
Williams and his family know that this vacation will stand out in their memories among all others.