Chris Trokey weighed only 3.2 pounds when he was born in 1981. Doctors gave him a 50% chance of survival but his pediatrician, Dr. Michael Shannon, had other plans. He stayed with tiny Chris around the clock until the baby stabilized and his health improved. Chris never forgot Dr. Shannon, but never expected to return the gift the doctor gave him -- the gift of life.
Now fast forward 30 years. On March 29, 2011, Dr. Shannon was driving on the Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point when a semi-truck hit his SUV, pinning it beneath the truck as it caught fire. Within minutes Paramedic Engine 29 was on the scene. By now Shannon's vehicle was also in flames. Fire crews worked to put out the fire and rescue him using the Jaws of Life. He was rushed to the hospital where it took 45 days for him to recover from internal injuries.
Among those at the rescue scene was Orange County Fire Authority paramedic Chris Trokey. "I didn't know until I went to the hopsital," Trokey said later. That's when he learned the man he helped save was Dr. Shannon. What did the pediatrician say? "It's amazing to watch them all grow up, but to have one come back into your life, on a day you really need it, that's really incredible."