Man reflects on Miami Beach rescue: 'You never know how you're going to react'

Cytrynbaum was among group of people who saved a swimmer

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – People were enjoying a day in the sunshine when someone was spotted floating in the pool at a Miami Beach condo on March 12.

A small group jumped into action and was able to resuscitate the man.

“At first I froze,” rescuer Oren Cytrynbaum said. “I overheard someone say, ‘I think I saw a body in the pool.’”

The man was 8 feet down in the deep end of the pool. After a moment of shock, Cytrynbaum acted.
“Luckily, a friend of mine who was with me, she said, ‘Jump in!’” Cytrynbaum said.

Cytrynbaum brought the man to the surface and others helped pull him out. The man’s face was already blue. A resident on the balcony documented what became a lifesaving operation.

Cytrynbaum and others took turns performing CPR until rescue officials arrived.
“We started to see water come up (and the person) started foaming at the mouth,” Cytrynbaum said. “(We) learned after (it was) due to epileptic seizures.”

The man spent four days recovering at a hospital. He was then well enough to fly home to New York, but he made a phone call to Cytrynbaum first.
“He was grateful, of course, as any other person would be,” Cytrynbaum said. “He wanted to express his gratitude.”

Cytrynbaum said his life was altered, too.

“Everyone kept saying, ‘Oh, you've done such a good thing. You saved somebody's life.’ And obviously, that felt surreal and great, but at the same time, for a few days after, I was carrying something that I didn't know what, from the affect of it,” Cytrynbaum said. “I felt happy but sad at the same time. I didn't know why.

“I think it’s the rush of adrenaline. It's (realizing) life and death. You realize your own mortality? Yeah, mortality (is) taken into account, and so you never know how you're going to react in that situation.”

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