It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: A 4-year-old child recently wandered out of his family’s apartment, fell into a pool, and started drowning. In a situation where seconds truly count, a hero jumped into the water, and saved the boy.
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The heart-pounding scenario captured on security footage took place May 18 at an apartment complex in Lawrence, Kansas.
A little boy named Xzavier, unbeknownst to his mother, Alexis Rigney, walked out of his family’s apartment and into life-threatening danger.
Rigney said she was helping her 4-month-old child when Xzavier, who has autism, left the home and ended up in the water. He was reportedly submerged for three minutes and 22 seconds.
“I just went like, ‘Oh no,’ and ran,” Maddox said of his immediate action.
The elder Westerhaus wasted no time, hopping a fence, jumping into the water, and pulling out Xzavier before performing lifesaving CPR, which he had learned 15 years ago, when he was a lifeguard.
“I just remembered the chest compressions and everything,” he told WIBW-TV. “So it just somehow came out of the back of my mind.”
After nearly three minutes, Xzavier started breathing again.
Watch the nail-biting moments unfold:
Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Battalion Chief Rob Freeup said Westerhaus’s actions very likely saved the boy’s life, as the child would have probably been underwater until authorities arrived.
It’s a moment first responders will surely never forget.
“I’ve been in the fire service for 33 years, and I’ve never seen this. We’re usually on the tail end of something that we’re trying our best, and it usually has a negative outcome,” Feeeup told KMBC-TV. “This was the one that we’ll carry with us basically for the rest of our lives.”
This situation could have ended much differently. Praise God for heroes willing to step up and help others.
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