ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Quick thinking by an Abilene teen helped save the life of a 7-year-old boy who was drowning at the bottom of an apartment pool. KTAB brought you the story of a Dyess Airman performing CPR on that little boy and it was just moments before that a 14-year-old swam the child to safety.
In just a matter of seconds, a fun day at the pool can turn dangerous.
“We’ve never ever seen someone drown before,” 14-year-old Eric Rios said.
For Rios it was just a typical day, swimming and playing with his brother at their apartment pool, when he noticed a 7 year old near by.
“I saw the kid jumping and splashing like that and I was like ‘okay he can’t swim so I should probably keep an eye on him.’ I pushed him back and said ‘Okay please don’t come this deep,'” Rios said.
Just an hour later Rios and his brother were playing football in the deep end.
“My brother looked at something down there and said ‘I think someone’s drowning,'” Rios said.
It was that same seven-year-old, face down in the bottom of the pool. The only thought running through Rios’ mind was get him out. Diving into action, Rios grabbed the child.
“Pushed off the floor and started swimming with one hand to the ladder,” Rios said.
It was after Eric swam the boy to the ladder when the Dyess Airman pulled him out and started performing CPR. When the child started coughing and breathing again Eric says he started to feel a sense of relief.
“I felt some type of not pride but like joy,” Rios said.
Despite his life saving efforts, Rios wonders if there wasn’t more he could’ve done.
“When I carried his body like flopping around because he was unconscious I felt like I don’t know. I didn’t feel content with myself. I thought I kind of let that kid down because I should’ve been watching him earlier,” Rios said.
For the child’s family, however, Rios is nothing short of a hero. Eric didn’t know the boy before this day but saw him again when he was called into the apartment office so that the family could thank him.