3 Boys Honored By EMSA For Saving Dad's Life
EDMOND, Oklahoma - Emergency Medical Services Authority paramedics awarded three Oklahoma brothers for their bravery after they saved their father's life in the pool.
Their dad nearly drowned on Sunday, July 26, due to a freak accident, but survived thanks to the boys' quick actions
One week later, EMSA returned to the Edmond pool where it happened to give the three sons “Everyday Hero” medals.
“I shouldn't be here at all and it's just, it's a miracle from God,” Michael Buckingham said.
The 38-year-old was swimming with his kids and their friends when one of the children jumped off a ledge and accidentally hit Buckingham's neck.
“It was like a traumatic injury, so as soon as it hit me, it paralyzed my entire body,” Buckingham said. “My eyes were functioning, but nothing else was working."
Buckingham was silently drowning in three feet of water.
“Crazy enough, it was peaceful, because I had no control over my body,” Buckingham told News 9.
After a few gulps, he passed out and witnesses said he was under for six minutes before his sons noticed.
“The normal dead zone is five minutes,” Buckingham said.
“He wouldn't just go under water and put his head on the floor,” 8-year-old Braden Buckingham said. "He wouldn't try to scare us that he was dying, so I knew that he probably passed out or something."
The boys dragged him to the sunning ledge in the shallow water, propped his head up and went for help.
Buckingham was rushed to the hospital and was in a coma with water on his brain.
However, just days later, the CT scan was totally clear.
He was healed.
“God's power is perfected in our weakness,” Buckingham said. “I've tried to be a great dad and a great husband my whole life, a great friend, and what ends up being the biggest testimony? Me passing out in the pool. I had no control over it."
EMSA gave 10-year-old Bryson, Braden and 6-year-old Beckett medals for their bravery.
“I've got little superheroes for sons,” Buckingham said. “To see them figure out something is wrong and to be able to, super-human strength, pull me up.”
Buckingham credits his boys for doing the right thing without ever having been taught what to do.
“They've been on a continual ‘yes’ since I got home,” Buckingham joked. “Since I woke up, it's like, 'Can we go to the mall? Yes! Can we get shoes? Yes! Can we get ice cream? Absolutely.'".
Buckingham said almost losing his life made him appreciate it even more.
“I feel like the richest man on Earth, I do, and it has nothing to do with money,” Buckingham said. “I feel like I've understood love now."
EMSA said Buckingham was one more gulp of water away from dying and that it is an absolute miracle he has no lasting damage other than a pinched nerve.
EMSA has had 35 near-drowning and drowning calls in the OKC metro since May.