Michael Liegey served as a lifeguard for three years at the Cliffside Resort Waterfront Condominiums. He was trained and ready for any unfortunate action, but never had to put his lifesaving tactics to use until one day this summer when a six-year-old boy was drowning.
Around lunchtime on this sunny September day, Liegey noticed a young boy struggling in the water who shortly became unconscious. Liegey, a resident of Southold and CPR certified, reacted quickly to save this young boy’s life. As adults pulled the child from the pool, Liegey noticed his chest was not moving, and he immediately began the first round of CPR. When the boy didn’t show any signs of life after the first round of compressions, a second round had to be performed.
“When he didn't resuscitate at first, I had a slight fear sink in,” Liegey said. “Then I did a second round of resuscitation, a second round of compressions, and he had a sudden movement in his chest.”
When the boy let out a gasp of air and began to choke up water, Liegey felt an overwhelming sigh of relief as he successfully brought the boy back to life. From that day forward, Liegey would be forever named a hero.
“He squeezed my hand and progressed to moaning and eventually, began breathing on his own and crying. It was a great sign that he was crying. I can't describe the moment. It was incredible.” Liegey said.
For his quick thinking and courage, The New York Islanders and TD BANK honored the 20-year-old lifeguard at the Islanders home game on Tuesday, Oct. 29. He received the award from Eric Fishon, VP of Suburban New York Marketing at TD Bank, as well as recognition on the Jumbotron at Nassau Coliseum.
“The Hometown Hero program gives us the opportunity to recognize people in the community for the heroic work that they do,”Fishon said. “That’s why we initiated this program with the Islanders. They are our hometown heroes, regular people doing really great things and tonight is the definition of that.”