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Albany teen saves drowning man, 82, in Lake George
HULETTS LANDING -- An Albany teen was credited for his
role in the rescue of an 82-year-old Buffalo man who suffered an apparent
medical issue while swimming in Lake George.
Max Cerosky, 16, was swimming with a friend Monday afternoon near his grandmother’s home when he heard his neighbor Louis Davidson calling for help.
Davidson said her friend, George Gates, 82, had jumped in and slipped on an underwater rock while apparently suffering from a medical issue. She managed to pull his head above the water, but she was unable to pull him out.
“His head was over the deck so I swam over and I saw he was breathing, but he wasn't conscious. At that point the adrenaline is pretty intense,” said Cerosky.
Cerosky has training as a lifeguard and took an EMT class and began working to push out water in Gates.
“He had an inflated stomach so I pushed on his chest and water came out,” said Cerosky. “He probably would have died, he would have drowned.”
Cerosky’s rescue efforts came as he
works to make a recovery of his own. He underwent major abdominal surgery two
months ago and only recently started lifting heavy objects.
“It is one of the biggest lifts I've done. I’ve been working out and regaining my physical strength, but it was a big step,” said Cerosky. “I think if I wasn't fully recovered I wouldn't have been able to do what I did.”
By the time medics arrived, Gates had regained consciousness and was able to say thank you to those who helped.
“He was very grateful. He was thankful for his life,” said Cerosky. “Obviously it was a very stressful situation. I didn't know if he had a heart attack or if he stroked out.
Davidson said Gates is recovering at an area hospital. Doctors are performing tests to determine what caused him not to be able to stand up on his own. He is expected to make a full recovery.