Family of nearly-drowned man meets lifeguard who rescued him

A heartwarming moment of a family meeting the hero who saved their loved one from nearly drowning last week.
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 6:46 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Brandon Alex Friday went into the Gulf last Saturday and did not come back on his own.

“We really got blown away when we arrived and they told us that this was pretty much the end for Alex,” Jerry Romans, Alex’s stepfather said.

Family members said that Alex was swimming near the Bay County Pier when he found himself caught in a rip current.

His cousin was on the beach with him and went looking for help once he realized something was wrong. Luckily a few lifeguards were patrolling the beach nearby.

“I get out there and I am looking, and I just happened to look to see just a shadow fairly visible under the water. I grabbed him and pulled him in. Then my partner, when I got him closer, continued CPR and that saved his life,” Anastasia Adams, PCB Lifeguard said.

Alex’s battle continued from there. He was transported to the hospital and has been in the ICU fighting to survive on a ventilator.

His sister said that he was under the water for several minutes before he was rescued and doctors told the family his chance of survival was low.

“We were given a point-zero-three percent chance at survival and he has been fighting through it and getting better slowly than surely,” Katie Romans, Alex’s sister said.

On Friday, his family tells us doctors removed the tubes from the ventilator.

“He is going to pull through thanks to the help here and at the hospital and the good lord it kept our family intact,” Jerry said.

Pulling through, thanks to the quick thinking of a lifeguard, who the family got a chance to meet and personally thank this week.

“First responders are just - they are a breed of their own and there [isn’t] any monetary value you can put on it. It is just from the heart and an extreme amount of gratitude coming her way from us,” Jerry said.

Also, hearing that the man they saved would be okay, meant everything to those that responded that day.

“The fact that he is still with us and when I heard he is talking now that is the greatest gift ever. The fact that me and my crew saved his life and everyone on that scene,” Adams said.

Alex still has a long road ahead of him. His family tells us when they got the call they drove down from Missouri and are staying in a hotel. They hope to bring him back home with them once he is well enough.

Katie also said her brother does not have health insurance at the moment, and the bills are piling up. She tells us they are trying to get him Medicare but have created a GoFundMe account in the meantime to help him.

The family said they are unsure at this time how long he will be in the hospital.