CORAL SPRINGS, FLA. (WSVN) - It was a heartwarming reunion filled with tears and gratitude for a Coral Springs couple who were able to embrace the first responders who saved their 2-year-old son from drowning.
The heart-stopping incident occurred on April 4 when Jesus Taveras, Jr. was found unresponsive in a canal behind his family’s home.
Quick to respond, Coral Springs Police and Fire Rescue units rushed to the scene.
Police body camera video captured Coral Springs Police Officer Hakeem Rainey as he administered CPR on the toddler.
“Wake up, wake up, wake up,” Rainey is heard saying in the video.
Jesus’ mother, Solange Concepcion, said the child disappeared in an instant from inside their home.
“I just feel like a moment of silence, and I go to the living room, and I’m like, I ask my husband, ‘Where’s the baby? I don’t hear him,'” she said. “He said, ‘Oh, but he ran after you.’ I’m like, ‘No!'”
A neighbor found the toddler in the water and performed CPR until Rainey arrived.
“Once I picked up CPR, all I could see was my child on the ground, and I was thinking to myself, ‘Hey, I have to save this kid’s life,'” said Rainey.
Paramedics arrived at the scene soon after and swiftly transported Jesus to Broward Health Coral Springs for immediate medical attention.
The rush to rescue took a turn for the better. Jesus was able to make a full recovery with no lasting health issues.
On Thursday, Solange thanked the first responders in person while holding Jesus.
“I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, each and every one of you,” she said as she shook Rainey’s hand.
Overwhelmed with gratitude, the Taveras family expressed their deep appreciation for saving Jesus’ life.
“I just want to say thank you. You guys are truly angels. God sent you guys for a reason,” said Solange to the first responders who resuscitated her son.
Eager to share their incredible story, the Concepcion family hopes it serves as a powerful reminder to all families about the importance of constant supervision, enrolling children in swimming lessons, using protective barriers near water and learning CPR.
“Unfortunately in Broward County, drowning for children under the age of 4 is the most likely cause of death, and it’s attributed to the fact we have so many waterways here,” said Coral Springs Police Chief Bradley McKeone.
First responders also hope this is a lesson that all families consider — especially as they head into the holiday weekend and summer months, with children out of school and roaming.
“It’s very important to teach your children how to swim, to make sure that they’re supervised 100% of the time around any body of water,” said Coral Springs Police Capt. Ryan Reinert. “These things are very tragic. However, they are preventable.”
“It could happen to anybody. I know it was an accident,” said Solange.
McKeone said his officers all work with the fire department to be trained on CPR, so no matter who arrives at a scene first, they can step in and try to save a life.
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