On March 9, 2009, 55-year-old Bob “Moona” Mullins, a Lynn firefighter and an accomplished basketball referee, left his shift at the Fayette Street fire station early to go to the emergency room at Union Hospital.
He thought he was suffering from a bad case of the flu. He was actually in the midst of acute kidney failure and his body was shutting down. A catheter was inserted to immediately begin a dialysis treatment. He nearly died.
“They told me at the hospital that if I had gone home and laid down I never would have woken up,” he said.
Earlier this month, Mullins, now 59, finally returned to the court at Winthrop High to referee a game against Gloucester High. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.
Rich Fahey can be reached at email@example.com.