FREEPORT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island man’s long search ended Tuesday night, as he finally found the mystery man who saved his life.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, Nick Secchi had been waiting seven weeks to meet the man who rescued him from Millburn Creek.
“This guy’s my hero, you know what I mean?” Secchi said.
The man stayed with Secchi on a cold winter’s night when his decision to try to save a struggling puppy almost cost him his own life. He was walking the pup, named “Baby Girl,” near Millburn Creek, when she jumped in, yelped, and started to fade fast.
Secchi, of Freeport, said he didn’t have a choice.
“I just thought about going home with a dead dog to my two little girls,” he said. “I just couldn’t picture that.”
So he went in after the dog in the fading light. The creek isn’t deep, but the mud sucked him down — like cement, he said — and no one was around. He said he was thinking, that’s the ball game.
“It didn’t look … I said, ‘Is this all there is, Lord? Is this all you got for me?’” Secchi said. “I remember looking at the sun as it [was] setting.”
That was when Secchi’s hero arrived, a man named Blaise Gibson, a contractor taking a break between jobs.
“I just wanted to pull him out to help him get out of there; do the right thing try to pull him out there as soon as possible,” Gibson said.
Gibson got the dog, and kept Secchi from going into shock. But somehow in the confusion after police arrived, Gibson vanished from Secchi’s life until the story started to percolate.
They were reunited Tuesday night, and Gibson was tearing up.
“He’s making me feel great over here,” Gibson said. “I was just doing what a regular person would do.”
“I don’t know about a regular person, now,” Secchi responded. “I’m not so sure a regular person would’ve hung themselves over the wall the way you did. You really went above and beyond.”
Secchi said he has been going to the park almost every day for 45 days looking for Gibson, and now they will be friends for life.
Secchi is a retired New York City sanitation worker. After his brush with death last month, he said he is now moving to a warmer climate, although he plans to stay in touch with his new friend.
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