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Dead But Still Alive

It was a warm summer day in 1975. I was living in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time teaching Social Studies. We lived in a town home in the suburbs which just happened to have a real nice community swimming pool. On this particular day my wife was at work.

It was in the middle of the day, about 1:00 p.m. I had eaten a light lunch and decided to go out and work on my suntan as I always made it a point to find time for a tan in the summer. There were a few mothers by the pool with their kids, and some others who were alone. After being in the sun for about 30 minutes, I felt a need to cool off for a bit, so I jumped into the pool. It felt mighty good in the Georgia sun. I was in for about 15 minutes and was fine.

After sunning for another 30-45 minutes, making sure I had used some good ‘ol tanning lotion, I thought it was time for another nice dip, perhaps a little longer this time. Now, I had been feeling a little weak the previous few days, but being a stubborn man sometimes, I thought I was OK. As I recall, I had taken a small bottle of water out with me and there was a drinking fountain near the pool by the restrooms. Evidently, I had not focused on making sure I was hydrated enough. After swimming around for about 30 minutes, I remembered feeling a little strange, but I more or less ignored it. By then all of the moms and the few children that had been at the pool were out of sight, back in their homes or at a nearby park.

I do not really remember when I passed out, but they say I must have fainted, blacked out completely, and I recall some cramping. I ended up being found floating in the water. One of the neighbor ladies had forgotten something at the pool and had come back to get it–a towel, book, or slippers–not sure now. She saw this body, thought I was dead, and called a local radio station to report my death as there was a reward of $100 dollars for the first one to report a death to this particular station. She then called her husband at work. He worked nearby and came immediately. Finally she called paramedics.

The neighbor man was an expert at CPR and was determined that though he could find no pulse, he was not going to give up. He kept working on me, and when the medics arrived, they were all working on me and eventually up came a ton of water and a faint pulse. By then the medics were there. They rushed me to a nearby hospital.

In the meantime someone at my wife’s work had heard an announcement on the local radio station that a man had died from drowning at our community, and when the lady heard my name, she rushed to tell my wife who then rushed home to find I was at the hospital alive.

They said I should have had some serious health issues from being under the water for an estimated 10-15 minutes. After being in the hospital for a week, I was discharged and have been fine, more or less, ever since. I am so very thankful that God spared me at that time and has given me many more years of life.

I  am so thankful the neighbor lady had forgotten an item at the pool. I’m certain I would NOT be here today. I believe it was Providential.

The Lord was not finished with me, and as I recall I’m not sure I was read then. I’m still a work in progress, but praise God, in His great love and mercy He has given me many more years to love and serve Him. I praise Him every day for the gift of life and I seek to do His will daily. My family and I long for Him to come soon and take us home. Are you anxious and ready to go, my friend?

Richard Burnett writes from the Pacific Northwest

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About Richard Burnett

Richard Burnett

writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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