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Doctor saves a father and 3 children from drowning in Maumee River

Dr. Daniel Cassavar quickly swam out to the family and began performing CPR in the water on Marshall, one of three kids, who was unconscious at the time.

WOOD COUNTY, Ohio — In a matter of seconds, the current on the Maumee River swallowed James Fox and his three kids. 

While trying to rescue all three and himself, he noticed his one son began turning blue.

"I was able to get to Marshall, who was face first, and I flipped him over," said Fox.

"And then a guy! That doctor! He was like, 'Oh I'm a swimmer and a doctor and I came to help!'" explained James' son, Colton.

By pure chance, the group of four found themselves in front of Dr. Daniel Cassavar's home, who just so happened to get off work early.

"I saw dad and his three kids, he was trying to hold them all up, they were in deep water, wandered into deeper water, and I said I cannot stand here and watch what's going to happen," said Cassavar.

Cassavar quickly swam out to the family and began performing CPR in the water on Marshall, who was unconscious at the time.

"So we're in the water, I'm trying to tread water, trying to pump on his chest, gave him some compressions, gave him about five or six blows into his chest just to get some air in there and about three minutes in, he coughed up a lot of water," said Cassavar.

Eventually, all five made their way to a shallow spot and neighbor Bruce Seeger came to bring the group to shore. 

Living on the rapids for nearly 40 years, Seeger has saved people here before. Many of the situations have not ended as well as this one.

"All the years we've lived here, there's probably been 8 to 10 drownings. My wife and I rescued one fellow out and watched his partner disappear," said Seeger.

As a precaution, Marshall was taken by Life Flight to Mercy St. V's. But emergency crews and the entire Fox family credit Cassavar for saving their lives.

"At least the one was not going to survive, the other three you just don't know. I'm so glad I have the skill, I have the ability, but I could've been at work. I just happened to be here, and I'm very happy I was," said Cassavar.

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