Brad Hassig was doing some breathing exercises underwater in his backyard pool when something went amiss. He slipped into unconsciousness in the five-foot end of the pool, and if he had been on his own in the backyard on that June day things might not have had a positive outcome. Fortunately for Brad, he was not alone. His 10-year-old twins Bridon and Christian were there along with their 11-year-old pal Sam Ebert. And those three kids ended up saving Brad’s life with lessons they learned from watching The Sandlot.
In an interview with Hoda Kotb on TODAY, Brad Hassig described the beginning of that fateful day as “a typical afternoon” with the kids. “We had music on the speakers and I was doing breathing exercises underwater to relax. I wasn't pushing myself or trying to be a Navy Sea.” Suddenly Brad blacked out and still can’t explain what happened. “It seemed normal, and then just nothing.”
His son Christian was the first one to notice that something was wrong because his dad was on his side in the pool. “I alerted my brother,” he told Kotb, and Bridon put on his goggles to go investigate with Sam. “Me and Sam dove into the water and grabbed one arm and pulled him next to the steps.” As if pulling a grown man to safety wasn’t enough, the three boys went further. After they couldn’t unlock their dad’s phone, Christian ran to a neighbor’s to call for help while Bridon performed CPR on his unconscious dad. CPR he learned from watching movies like Hook and The Sandlot. As Kotb reminded the boys, there’s a scene when a pretty lifeguard does CPR on Squints, one of the kids from the movie. Apparently that was well imprinted into their memory.
Fortunately, Bridon’s CPR worked. With Sam listening for a heartbeat and Bridon doing mouth-to-mouth, his dad came to coughing up blood and foam and water. Christian had managed to stop a car to ask for help and first responders had arrived. In short, those three young boys saved Brad’s life.
Brad had suffered from a condition called hypoxia, where there is not enough oxygen in the blood because of too much fluid in the lungs, and is doing much better now. And he is especially proud of all three boys. “I'm so proud of my boys,” he told Kotb. “I tell them, 'Remember you guys are heroes' and I will be grateful to them forever. And Sam is such a kind and gentle kid. It's a bond now.”
I think it’s fair to say they’re all grateful to The Sandlot too. Where would they be without it?