lewter

Jim Wallace, of the Tehachapi Cancer Foundation, left, and Brant Lewter, right, presented Hunter Reed with a plaque recognizing him as a hero after saving Lewter's life in 2014.

Courtesy of Jim Wallace

As fate would have it, the lives of two local men would forever change one cold December night as they sat relaxing in a hot tub.

It happened just before Christmas in 2014, when Brant Lewter and Hunter Reed had just returned from the gym and decided to soak in Lewter's hot tub at the apartment he had just rented in Tehachapi.

"On stressful days I would go sit in the hot tub," Lewter said.

As Lewter and Reed sat soaking inside the hot tub, Lewter's head suddenly went underwater as he began to have a seizure.

"Brant and I were talking in the hot tub, and he went under the water, and I didn't know what to do at first," said Reed, who was 15 at the time of the incident.

Realizing something was wrong, Reed pulled Lewter from the hot tub and inside the apartment while a friend who was visiting called 9-1-1.

"We woke Brant's roommate up and he helped me take care of Brant until the paramedics came," Reed said.

Lewter, who was 23 at the time, said he has no memory of what happened after climbing in the hot tub, and just remembered waking up to find medics surrounding him inside his apartment.

"I remember they were asking me questions as I was lying on a stretcher, and they were asking me questions that I couldn't answer because I was so out of it, and then I passed out again," Lewter said.

The next memory Lewter had was waking up inside a Bakersfield hospital and receiving dreadful news.

"That's when I found out I had cancer," Lewter said.

Lewter said that, had Reed not saved his life that day, he never would have found out he had brain cancer.

Last month, Reed, who hadn't seen Lewter in a few years, received a text from his sister stating that Lewter wanted to hang out with him.

Said Reed, "I met him (Lewter) at the park, and we were about to go to the gym, and he said to go with him over to this tent to talk to a friend of his."

After being introduced to Lewter's friend, who would turn out to be Jim Wallace, founder of the Tehachapi Cancer Foundation, Lewter asked Reed to pose for a picture with them.

Said Reed, "Brant pulled something out from behind his back, and said, 'This is for you, bud.'"

To Reed's surprise, it was a plaque dedicated to him in recognition of his heroic act that saved Lewter's life.

"I was overwhelmed. It was one in a lifetime," Reed said.

Reed said the hot tub experience was emotional, something he will never forget.

Today, Lewter says he is "fit as a fiddle."

"I still go in for tri-monthly MRI checkups just to make sure there is no regrowth on my brain tumor, but so far so good," Lewter said.