(CHICAGO) -- A surgeon plunged into Lake Michigan's waters roiled by rip tides and rough waves to save two young boys, but died despite his wife's frantic efforts to revive him with mouth to mouth resuscitation, police and his wife said.
Dr. Donald Liu, chief of pediatric surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine's Comer Children's Hospital, saw the two boys, who were friends of the family, swept up in the water. Despite protests from his own children, who were scared about the dangerous conditions, Liu went in to save them.
"You couldn't stop him," Liu's wife, Dr. Dana Suskind, told ABC News. "He always did the right thing."
The two boys made it back to the shore near Cherry Beach in Chikaming, but Liu, 50, did not survive the 6-foot swells and treacherous currents.
"After he saved those boys and I couldn't see him, they finally found him and they pulled him from the water. I tried to do mouth-to-mouth, but I knew. And it was so painful," Suskind said between sobs.
The Coast Guard was responding to a call in a nearby area when they received the call to rescue Liu and were unable to get to him in time.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio