In a dramatic rescue seen on tape earlier this month, a brave Kansas man rushed into action to revive a drowning autistic youngster.
According to The Topeka Capital-Journal, nonverbal Xavier Rigney, 4, escaped out of his mother’s Lawrence apartment on May 18 and worked out how to get into the complex’s closed pool.
The youngster, who was wearing a diaper, took one step into the deep end and was entirely immersed, according to CCTV footage.
He began reaching for anything to get onto in vain and became unresponsive fast.
Maddox Westerhaus, 12, spotted Xavier submerged and alerted his father, Tom, who hopped the barred gate and rescued the youngster.
According to the article, he was submerged for 200 seconds, or over three and a half minutes.
Until officials came, Tom Westerhaus, a former lifeguard, conducted chest compressions for over three minutes. The youngster was allegedly alive and breathing when Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical battalion chief Rob Fleeup arrived on the scene.
At a Thursday ceremony to commemorate the rescue, Fleeup described the father and son’s actions as “one of the most heroic things he had ever witnessed.”
“We’re very happy to celebrate this positive outcome,” Fleeup allegedly remarked, “because these stories far too often do not have a positive outcome.”
During the occasion at the Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Administrative Offices, the boy’s mother, Alexis Rigney, thanked her neighbors.
She informed reporters that she had just left the youngster alone for a few seconds to check on his sister before he ran off to the pool.
According to the investigation, Westerhaus last took CPR instruction 15 years ago.