Woman finds rescuer in Boca Raton 49 years after nearly drowning on Long Island

FAU professor was lifeguard in Long Island

BOCA RATON, Fla. - These days Dr. Larry Brickman teaches surgery at Florida Atlantic University.

He's come a long way from summers on Long Island as a pre-med student.

In 1964, on Lido Beach, Brickman was a lifeguard at a beach club pool along the oceanfront. 49 years later,  he got a call about his rescue of a little girl.

"Hi Dr. Brickman. My name is Edie Rothstein. This is like a blast from the past," the voice on the line said.

"I said 'I do remember your name'," said Brickman.

Edie was just five-years-old in 1964 when she found herself underwater at the pool where Brickman kept watch.

"I can picture being underwater screaming, and it was only 4 feet, 4-and-a-half feet," Rothstein recalled.

Brickman jumped in and pulled little Edie out of the water.

"I was able to breathe for her and breathe and watched her chest go up and down," Brickman recalled.

The rescue made headlines in Long Island. The pair never spoke, until Rothstein recently found an old newspaper article. With help from her son, she scoured the web and found Brickman's FAU phone number.

Suddenly it was Brickman who was short of breath.

Nearly five decades after he reached out to save a little girl, that little girl, who is now 53, has reached back.

"I do, I owe him my life. It's a very nice feeling to finally say thank you," Rothstein said.

Edie now lives in New Jersey and says she is a much stronger swimmer and swims laps every single day.

After reuniting online and on the phone, the pair says they will work to reunite face-to-face.

Print this article Back to Top