WEST ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A six-year-old child was sent home from the hospital Monday, doing well after a very close call in a man-made backyard pond.
He was saved by his teenage cousin, who spoke of the dramatic rescue exclusively to CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
There was a panic at the Bay Shore home when relatives, gathered after a family funeral, noticed six-year-old Joey George was missing. His little brother came running into the house crying.
“He came into the house wet and my little sister said why is he wet, where’s Joey?” cousin Keyara Zamor said.
They quickly realized the child had wandered into the backyard fish pond.
“My auntie was like ‘Oh my God, he’s dead’,” Zamor said, “and everyone started running outside.”
Joey was face down, not breathing.
“The first thing that clicked in my head was just grab him out,” Zamor said. “His arm was out and his head was kind of under, and I pulled him out and see he’s blue and purple.”
16-year-old Zamor then remembered what she had just learned in 11th grade.
“I did CPR, I started pushing on his chest,” she said.
“The CPR in this case really did make a difference,” Dr. Catherine Caronia, Pediatrics Chair at Good Samaritan Hospital said, noting little Joey will make a full recovery thanks to his quick-thinking cousin.
At this time of year, too often the endings are tragic when no one around has the life saving skill.
“Parties going on, people are distracted, children can drown in any body of water and it doesn’t have to be deep,” Dr. Caronia said.
Neighbors say they’re relieved to hear this time there was such a happy ending.
“It shows how important it is to know CPR to help out your own family,” one man tells CBS2.
The little boy’s family says they’re feeling grateful today.
“Thank God we don’t have to have another funeral soon,” Joey’s aunt Danielle Gabrielle said.
“I feel good, I saved a life,” Zamor said. “Thank the Lord.”
If you haven’t learned the potentially life saving skill in high school, it’s never too late to learn. CPR is taught by the American Red Cross and many hospitals, including Good Samaritan, four times a year.
Suffolk Police tell CBS2 they quickly arrived on the scene as the child regained consciousness.