Apria employee saves two

Sunday, September 25, 2011

ST. JOSEPH, Mich. - Michael Gonzalez, an Apria account liaison, believes fate played a hand when he saved a girl and her father from drowning here in August.

He went on a Sunday, which he never does, to Silver Beach, which he never goes to.  That put him in the right place at the right time to hear a girl call for help from the waves of Lake Michigan.

"It all happened so quickly, but no one ever questioned," said Gonzalez. "Everyone did what they were supposed to do."

Although he has worked for Apria for the past five years, Gonzalez began his career as a combat medic and later worked with Air Evac, a medical transport program that operates in 15 states. and he's been CPR certified every few years for most of his adult life. 

That training helped him as he rescued first the girl from the waves and then her father, who was unconscious and not breathing by the time he get to shore. 

The girl was uninjured and Gonzalez later learned her father was treated and released from the hospital the next day. The incident reinforced Gonzalez's belief that everyone should take CPR training--just in case.

"The last time I used CPR was maybe 25 years ago, but it came back to me naturally," Gonzalez said. "I truly believe everyone should take a basic course."