Local ‘Hero’ Saves Child from Near Drowning

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - After spending time outside in a 100 degree heat wave as a security guard at a local bank, Brian Cushenberry couldn't wait to get home to take a dip in his apartment complex pool.
But his Tuesday afternoon swim was anything but relaxing.

"I thought he was floating," said Cushenberry, who lives at the Cedar Crest Apartments in Overland Park.  "Then I noticed he wasn't moving.  01.26  He was purple.  by the time we took him out of the pool he was purple.  He was lifeless."

That's when Cushenberry, an Army veteran, began performing CPR on the lifeless four-year-old.  After a few minutes, the boy was coughing and crying, but alive.
Emergency crews took him to Children's Mercy Hospital for a follow up.

"It feels very good," said Cushenberry, who is credited with saving the child's life.  "Just to see that someone who might have died could live again.   It's a second chance.  To give a second chance.  We all need a second chance."

The Centers for Disease Control reports that, on average, ten people in the United States die from drowning every single day and two of those ten are children under the age of 14.

"Adult judgment and supervision is absolutely the key to safety," said Dr. Kenneth Wible, a physician within Children's Mercy's Primary Care Clinic.

Children's Mercy said there are numerous drownings and close calls in the metro every summer.  Nearly all of them are preventable.

"Children do unexpected things and they do them quickly," said Wible.  "It's one of the things we try to stress to parents.  you can't substitute for constant supervision when a child is around water."

Aside from supervision, the hospital recommends that parents and caregivers learn basic, lifesaving CPR.  The doctor said that can stabalize a drowning victim until medics arrive.

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