When you put your life on the line to serve and protect, you rarely have a day off.
And that was true back in August when a state trooper driving to an overtime shift, and several good Samaritans, came across a grim situation.
It was a sunny summer morning.
"Suddenly, out of nowhere, I saw a motorcycle completely lose control,” said Connecticut State Trooper Darrell Tetreault.
He was driving on I-395 in Waterford when he saw the motorcycle hit a center median.
“(It) was just bouncing off the center median like a ping pong ball,” Tetreault said.
He put on his lights and sirens and arrived to chaos.
"People were running back and forth across the highway,” he said.
Lisa Johns stopped too.
"I knelt down and I saw him and I said ‘oh Lord’,” Johns said.
The victim was pinned underneath the guardrail and didn't have a pulse.
"The officer started the chest compressions and I just kept feeling for a pulse and that's when I noticed his leg,” Johns said.
His leg was in bad shape and he was bleeding out on the side of the highway.
Johns and Tetreault did what they could to help save the man’s life.
Every day since, Joe Kakos has been counting his blessings.
"I had no helmet on. It's amazing I'm still alive. If it wasn't for the people who helped me out I wouldn't be here today,” Kakos said.
He said he did lose control of his bike on the rumble strips.
He lost two pints of blood, and his left leg. He says his doctors told him, he died twice that day.
"I did lose my life. God gave it back to me,” Kakos said, adding that this gave him a new perspective. "I'm a little bit more, carefree and willing to put up with things and work a little harder, go out of my way to help people.”
Some may call it luck, or even fate, but Kakos said he just knows he's destined for something.
"There's got to be something left for me to do because I'm still here,” he said.
Trooper Tetreault said he recently took a refresher course in CPR, which came in very handy on the side of I-395 back in August.
Kakos is back home with his wife and two sons recovering well. He has a prosthetic leg and is already walking on it.
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