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Oklahoma City man thanks police who revived him after heart attack in pool

A northwest Oklahoma City man who drowned this summer but was revived by police officers before medics arrived recently dropped by the station to thank them.

Sept. 16, two months after the drowning, Lee Heiger went to the police station with his wife, Carol, and neighbors and brought sweet treats for the officers.

"I just wanted to make known to people that I appreciate the little extras the officers did. They came by the house about two or three days after this happened and wanted to know how I was doing, if I'd made it," Heiger said.

Heiger was swimming late in the afternoon July 14 at the Sutton Place condos community pool with his wife and granddaughter when he suffered a heart attack.

Heiger, 75, said he was in the hospital for three weeks and does not remember the heart attack or drowning.

"I was clear on the other side of the pool from where she was at, but by the time she got to me, I had already sank below the water line. I'd had a heart attack," Heiger said.

After slipping from his wife's arms, Heiger submerged under about 7 feet of water. His 10-year-old granddaughter rushed to a neighbor's house. The neighbor jumped into the pool fully dressed and dragged Heiger to the surface, where Oklahoma City police officers began CPR.

"His (the neighbor's) wife had called 911. Just shortly after she called, two police officers showed up first. They immediately came running in and started helping me with CPR," Heiger said.

Firefighters and medics rolled up and took over.

"Once they got an indication that I was still in this world, they headed to the hospital. The police officers had been around the whole time this was going on. One of them came up and offered to give my wife an escort to the hospital. This is 5 o'clock traffic going down May Avenue at about 60 mph," he said.

Sgt. Wilner Laguerre recalled how he responded that day.

"I got there first. I was on the other side of Lake Hefner Parkway working on a report when the call came out. It becomes a priority one as a drowning, so I just step on it, lights and sirens. So I made it there first, and there was a gentleman at the gate waiting on us. He directed me (to) the pool. As soon as I came up, I noticed the gentleman on the ground and immediately showed up and started working on him," Laguerre said.

"We all knew what to do. ... Everybody was doing something," Laguerre said.

Heiger said he felt he needed to respond in kind.

"With all the things that are going on in the world today, and with the policemen nationwide, I wanted to put out some good news," he said.