Eric's Heroes: Two brave boys who saved their beloved grandfather's life
You can see it in the eyes of 12-year-old Jonathan Tyshler, and his 14-year-old brother, Daniel. They adore their grandfather.
Boris Govzman, a 69-year-old Russian immigrant who doesn't speak English, likes to perform magic tricks for his grandsons. On this day he has a long piece of twine. He loops it and holds it as Jonathan cuts it in two with a pair of scissors.
Moments later, the twine is stretched out, and miraculously it is somehow whole again.
Who knows how many times the boys have seen this particular trick? But they smile wide and applaud as if they're seeing it for the first time.
Boris' eyes twinkle. He grins. He is happy.
They play chess, too. And try as they might, they are rarely a match for Grandpa.
As he surveys the board during one nasty little war, Jonathan says grudgingly, staring at his pieces, "He's pretty good..."
The boys are good students. In one particular class at Odle Middle School in Bellevue, Daniel learned about CPR.
He thought it was a little boring, but he learned about 30 chest compressions and two breaths into the mouth. Repeat.
He learned to push to the beat of the Bee Gees "Stayin' Alive". He'd never heard the song before, but he took note of the driving beat.
One day last summer the boys were on vacation with their grandparents in Southern California.
They hit all the spots. Hollywood. Universal Studios. A couple of beaches.
And then on the final day they were heading to the airport on Interstate 405 in Irvine. Jonathan was talking to Grandpa Boris about getting a chess game going at the airport while they waited.
Suddenly, their rental car was out of control.
"The car swerved across seven lanes of traffic," Daniel says. "And through some trees on the shoulder, and when it stopped, my grandfather was completely out."
Boris was slumped over the wheel, unresponsive. Their grandmother was panicked.
Jonathan called 9-1-1.
Daniel isn't emotional as he tells the story for the umpteenth time.
"It was kind of scary, his eyes were wide open, and we would shake him, and he wouldn't say anything. And he wasn't even breathing his chest wasn't rising or falling. So I thought obviously something is wrong we have to start doing something."
And so they did. They pulled Boris out of the car. And as he lay there on the ground, in the blur of the moment, Daniel strained to remember that class he'd taken. And it all came back to him.
Jonathan tilted his grandfather's head back. Daniel put his hands on Boris' chest, and started the compressions. "1...2...3..."
That song came into his head. "Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk
I'm a woman's man: no time to talk..."
After 30 pushes, he put his mouth down to his grandfather's and blew in two breaths.
He started over. "1..2..3..."
"I just kept doing it," he says. "I just kept trying to do the right number and the right timing."
"Ah, ha, ha, ha... Stayin' Alive... Stayin' Alive."
He went through the whole process twice. Or maybe three times.
He says, completely deadpan: "I tried to stay calm on the outside, but I was really panicking on the inside."
The fire department showed up, and brought out a defibrillator. With the two boys standing there watching, they administered two shocks, then announced that Grandpa Boris' heart was beating again.
The boys didn't leave his side in the ICU, as he lay there in a medically induced coma.
They were there for a week.
And then one day, Jonathan announced that Grandpa had squeezed his hand.
Within an hour, he was awake.
They played chess in the hospital, then a week later they were all allowed to go back home.
The boys, without a doubt, helped save their grandfather's life.
Says Dr. Ethan Yalvic, "If no one had provided CPR, the outcome would not have been a good one."
Now, they're back to playing chess in the living room again, and Boris is still practicing his magic.
His grandson interprets as he says in Russian, "I feel great, and I feel happy that next to me are my grandsons. And I'm not afraid to go on vacation with them. I'll go anywhere with them."
He beams with pride and gives them each a kiss and an arm around the neck.
A grandfather's love is a thing to cherish and soak up.
It won't be around forever, but thanks to a CPR class and a couple of brave young boys, Grandpa Boris' love isn't going away anytime soon.
And for this family, that's what matters right now