Two men who helped save each others lives 30 years apart were reunited Sunday at a fundraiser for childhood cancer research.
Exactly four years ago, on March 29, 2011, Dr. Michael Shannon was driving on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point when a semi-truck T-boned his SUV, pinning his vehicle underneath the truck as it caught fire.
Firefighters from Paramedic Engine 29 were returning from another call and responded within minutes to the fiery crash.
By the time they arrived, Shannon’s vehicle was also ablaze and the flames were burning his legs. Fire crews then worked to extinguish the flames and rescue him using the Jaws of Life.
The seriously injured Shannon was taken to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo where he spent the next 45 days recovering from internal injuries. He also had to have two of his toes amputated.
Among those who had helped save Shannon that day was Orange County Fire Authority paramedic Chris Trokey, whose own life had been saved 30 years earlier by the pediatrician.
“I didn’t know about until I went to the hospital and started talking about it, Dr. Shannon. And I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, Dr. Shannon?'” Trokey recalled on Sunday. “That’s when I found out.”
Trokey was just 3.2 pounds at birth, and doctors had initially gave him a 50/50 chance at surviving. But his pediatrician — Dr. Shannon — helped save his life, staying with the infant around the clock until his health improved and he was stable.
“It’s amazing to watch them all grow up, but to have one come back in your life, on a day you really need it, that’s really incredible,” Shannon said.
On Sunday, the two met up again for a good cause, both shaving off their hair to raise money to potentially help save others live.
“It’s a great feeling, and now he’s my son’s pediatrician,” Trokey said.
According to Shannon, 30 heads were shaved and $12,000 was raised at the fundraiser benefiting St. Baldrick’s charity.