Grateful to be alive, a college student returned Wednesday to an Orange County nightclub where he almost died, so he could thank the men who saved his life.
Jesse Anderson, 20, said he collapsed from dehydration at the Observatory nightclub in Santa Ana in March. He was carried outside where an in-house medic started performing CPR. Two officers working overtime at the club also started to help Anderson.
Witnesses told the heroes to stop, believing Anderson could not be rescued.
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"I have a 14-year-old son, and the first thing that came to my mind is, this is somebody's son and there's no way I'm going to stop at this point," said Oscar Lizardi, an officer for the Santa Ana Police Department.
Anderson stopped breathing twice during what officers called nine minutes of chaos, and then conviction.
"I was so far gone that people told them to stop doing CPR, and one of them decided to keep going," Anderson said. "I'm just thankful."
He stabilized enough to be taken to a hospital, where he was placed in a coma in order to save his life. Anderson stayed at the hospital for 10 days.
He returned to the nightclub Wednesday with his parents and his girlfriend to thank the men who helped him.
"I couldn't thank them more because he's here," Anderson's girlfriend, Jenna Wood, said.
After fearing the worst for Anderson, his rescuers were happy to see him alive and standing.
"I can't stop smiling seeing how tall this guy really is," said Duane Lewis, a security guard for the club. "Just to know that he has his life, live your life bro, don't take it for granted."