Monday, July 07, 2008

Young heroes saved their young cousin's life!

As the temperature climbed on a sunny afternoon, Parker Rice and Josh and Alex Hershberger splashed around in the pool at their grandparents' rural home between Greeley and Kersey, keeping one eye on their youngest cousin.

Five-year-old DJ Bohn had a history of seizures, but his cousins had never seen one firsthand and they wouldn't know how to deal with it if one came on.

But as the boys played, something went wrong.

"Sometimes he would dip his head in and then come back up just to get wet," Parker, age 8, said. "Then he dipped his head in and he didn't come back up."

While swimming on June 16, DJ had a seizure in the middle of the pool. His head sank under the water.

"(Our first thought) was to swim after him," said Alex, 7. "Then we got him out of the pool."
Together his three cousins struggled to pull DJ up the little ladder and out of the water.
Nearby, Bob Hershberger was working in the family garage as he saw the kids pulling his grandson from the pool. He ran as fast as his newly replaced knee would allow and helped get DJ out of the water and to a grassy spot.

His wife, Pat, called DJ's mom, Marie Riggins. DJ's grandparents were familiar with his history of seizures, and they got DJ to emergency care.

He spent the night in the hospital to ensure that none of the water had gotten into his lungs. He was released the next day with a clean bill of health.

A sigh of relief was shared by everyone, but even more so for his young rescuers.

"We were thinking about him," Alex said. "We wanted to know how he was doing."

Reflecting on the day, the three cousins called it a scary event. They described the scene as they watched DJ's head go under water and began to shake. But there was no time to panic. Instead they calmly got their cousin out of harm's way, Bob said.

"They just did it," Bob said. "There was probably more panic from us. Here I am, an old guy, and I was huffing it up that hill pretty good."

"They are very protective of him knowing his history."

Just more than a week after the incident, the four were already back into the water again Monday. Of them all, DJ seemed the most excited. Undeterred by his history, the 5-year-old described his situation very bluntly.

"I like the water, and I like swimming."


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