As I sat there for what seemed likehours, I was beginning to get frustrated because I was the only person in theclassroom not allowed to participate in the demonstration. When I was a child,I had to sit through a CPR certification class while every adult in my familylearned the procedure. I was too young to be involved so my “job” was to sitand be patient. I watched, frustrated, as six adults tried to breathe life intothese baby mannequins.
Little did I knowthat watching this class would change my life and save the life of anotherperson. I thought of CPR, short forcardiopulmonary resuscitation, the same way I thought of children’s hospitals.Even though it is unfortunate to have to need either of the two, it is stillbeneficial if I was ever in a position to need them. Along with others in myfamily, I thought that CPR was not the most elegant techniques to use. CPR usesa method that uses mouth-to-mouth contact, which is pretty disgusting to me. Inever thought I would have to use it, and I always questioned whether or not Iwould have the confidence, but I did. My aunt used to take me swimming atthe Golden Moon Hotel in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
I would beg her to take meso I could swim in the humongous indoor swimming pool. I would ask the same wayevery time, “Aunt Janlyn, can we go to the Golden pool?” She would alwaysrespond by asking me how much I loved her and with a smile, my reply was alwaysthe same: “a whole lot Aunt Janlyn.” She’d feed me her one line, “well, I guessthat’s enough love to get you there, but you’ll have to look for some more fora ride back home.” So we would make the trip up there, music blaring throughthe open top of her mustang convertible. When we arrive after what seemedlike days, we would find our room and we would break in the beds by jumping onthem. With Aunt Janlyn there were only a handful of rules. After a while, wewould make our way down to the pool, the place I was most excited to go.
AuntJanlyn told me the rules, as if I did not already know them. The one that stuckwith me the most was to stay in the shallow end if she was not there; breakingthat rule would result in us going home. While Aunt Janlyn left to get lunch, I playedwith the other kids in the pool, staying in the shallow end until she returned.While I was playing, I noticed a little boy, probably a few years older than meat the time, floating with his face down. It appeared as though he wassnorkeling, but when I tapped him to ask if he wanted to play, he did not move.The only problem was that he was on the other side of the rope that I was notallowed cross, but with my best judgment, I broke one of the only rules I wasgiven.
I swam over to him and got him on his back, like I had heard in theclass my parents participated in. I drug him out of the pool as fast as Icould, slicing my leg on the side of the pool and began to do compressions likeI had seen the CPR teacher do. The boy’s mother was not even paying attentionto what was going on around her. I screamed as loud as I could for someone tocall an ambulance and they arrived and took him out of the pool area. The paramedics asked to look at myleg, which I had forgotten was cut in all the chaos surrounding me.
One of themwalked up to me and said, “You saved that boy’s life,” and another told me thatI was a hero. My response was to smile, and then I proceeded to throw up allover his boots, because I had realized that the boy had thrown up on me. If it were not for that CPR class,which I thought at the time was useless and boring, I would have not been ableto help that boy in the pool that day. Though I never learned his name, I knewthat this was a day I would remember for the rest of my life.