In 1981, a California doctor worked around the clock to save the life of a (3.2 lb) premature baby boy. Exactly 30 years later, that baby (now a Paramedic/Firefighter) saved the life of the doctor when a semi struck his car.

Dr. Michael Shannon

This is a true story about coming full circle in life and how the world is a lot smaller than it seems. Some find the facts too hard to imagine, and others believe it’s a miracle featuring fated twin events.

There are two main characters to the story, Dr. Michael Shannon and firefighter-paramedic Chris Trokey. Both are California residents where the action first unfolded some 30 years ago.

In 1981, Dr. Shannon was a pediatrician in San Clemente who found himself with a major challenge on his hands. A premature baby weighing 3.2 lbs. was fighting for his life, and the odds were 50/50 that he would make it.

Dr. Shannon worked tirelessly around the clock until the tiny baby’s condition had stabilized and improved.

Life went on for both parties, and then, 30 years later, their paths would cross during another emergency occurrence.

Dr. Shannon was involved in a fiery crash on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point and pinned inside his burning vehicle where the flames were attacking his legs. His SUV had been plowed into by a semi-truck. 

Orange County Fire Authority’s Paramedic Engine 29 quickly arrived at the scene, and the Jaws of Life was put into action to pull Dr. Shannon from the blazing vehicle. Chris Trokey was one of the rescuers on that harrowing day in 1981.

The doctor spent the next 45 days recovering from internal injuries at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. Two of his toes had to be amputated.

Trokey visited Dr. Shannon in the hospital, and the two began chatting. When the firefighter-paramedic learned of the patient’s name and title as a doctor, something clicked. “Oh, my gosh, Dr. Shannon?”

Trokey knew that this was the pediatrician who had saved his tiny life all those years ago. There he was, paying it forward in the most karmic set of circumstances.

Dr. Shannon eventually returned to his healthy self, and the two would reunite again four years to the day of that spectacular encounter.

The pair found themselves attending a charity event for childhood cancer research at St. Baldrick’s in Rancho Santa Margarita. The men shared a warm hug, a photo was taken, and the story continues its viral journey.

“I do believe that things are supposed to happen when they do,” Dr. Shannon told the media. “I see examples of this almost daily in my life and practice.”