‘As a family, we got a lot closer, and we pulled together’: New Fairfield athlete, lifeguard saves his father’s life using CPR training

Fairfield

NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — A boy’s lacrosse player at New Fairfield High School saw an opportunity and ran with it. And we’re not just talking about the field of play.

As a lifeguard and an athlete, Zachary Diehl has to keep his composure under duress last November. That composure and lifeguard training was put to use, unlike last year because of COVID.

Diehl and his teammates have their season. And Zach has his dad because when Don Diehl was stricken with a heart attack at home, Zach took control and performed CPR until first responders arrived.

The training he learned in school that Zach hoped he would never need to use saved his dad’s life.

“The scary thing was that he had COVID on top of this. It was like yeah, he made it through the heart attack, but who knows if COVID will get him. It was a constant state of fear at that point,” Zach said. “I knew he was going to push through. I feel as a family, we got a lot closer, and we pulled together. Now we spend a lot of time with each other. We did before too, but I feel we cherish it a lot more now.”

Zach has other family members who are lifeguards, and his mom is a nurse. They want to spread the word about taking CPR classes Zach and his coach are working on getting defibrillators to fields throughout the town.

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