After seven o’clock Monday night, police got a frantic 9-1-1 call from a father who said his eight-year old son was unconscious by a pool.
The parents told firefighters they’d only taken their eyes off their son for a minute or two when someone realized he was not breathing, floating in the pool at the Westwind Apartment Complex in San Jose.
Ten-year old Lilianna Martinez says she was playing in the pool when someone screamed. She looked over to the end of the pool and saw a boy not moving underwater. She said her sister pulled the boy out of the water and immediately noticed the blood dripping out of his nose and mouth.
“I was scared because I thought he was going to die, ‘cause he wasn’t breathing when they stopped CPR.”
San Jose Fire Department spokeswoman Mary Gutierrez said a Good Samaritan performed “efficient CPR” on the boy for the bulk of the five minutes that passed before paramedics arrived. Gutierrez says without that help, the boy may not have survived. By the time the boy reached Stanford Hospital, he was still unconscious, but breathing on his own again.
Gutierrez said the boy was transferred to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital around nine o’clock Monday night, an indication that he was still alive, though in serious condition.
Westwind resident Jennifer Grist, a mother of two, said she has CPR certification as an elementary school teacher. She’s hoping others will follow suit.
“I think all parents need to know CPR so they can save their children, because you never know when you’re going to be by yourself, when you have to do something to help your child,” Grist said.
Edith Dooley is a 48-year veteran nurse who teaches classes at Campbell’s “Nurse Education Workshops Inc.” She said if you come across someone who’s not breathing and not responding, call 9-1-1 and then start compressions by pushing down on the middle of the chest repeatedly.
She’s urging everyone to learn basic CPR because the first few minutes are critical in preventing severe brain damage and could be the difference between life and death.
“They stay dead so if they’re not getting oxygen, if their heart isn’t pumping and they’re not getting blood to all their vital organs, then that person is not going to survive or not survive well.”