Hero neighbor saves boy, 2, from nearly drowning - KPTV - FOX 12

Hero neighbor saves boy, 2, from nearly drowning

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Marla Friedler Marla Friedler
Caleb Caleb

A Hillsboro woman saves a two-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a neighbor’s swimming pool, by giving him CPR until help arrived.

The boy’s family told FOX 12 their son would likely not be alive if it weren’t for their neighbor and friend, Marla Friedler.  

“She is our angel, she is a huge blessing to our family for sure,” said Kendra, the boy’s mother.

Kendra said she is sharing her story about what happened that day, in hopes it inspires people to stay current on their CPR training.

Kendra told FOX 12 that she was unloading some things from her car Thursday, when her son Caleb, 2, stepped out of her sight for just a minute.

“I thought, ‘Oh that little guy, he probably walked down the road,’” said Kendra.

Kendra said she checked all around her home, and down the street and couldn’t find her son.  That’s when she started to panic.  The mother said she then went to her neighbor for help.  

“Kendra was at my front door saying, ‘I can’t find Caleb, help me,’” said neighbor Marla Friedler.  “I tossed on my shoes and started running.”

Soon many neighbors were out looking for the little boy, but no one was prepared for what they found.

“I just heard someone yell, ‘call 911,’ so I started running to a neighbor’s backyard, not knowing what I would find,” said Friedler. “That’s when I found my neighbor had just gotten Caleb out of the pool, he was blue and not breathing.”

With Caleb’s life on the line, Friedler, who is an ICU nurse, let instincts take over.

“I did CPR on a 2-year-old, my neighbor’s 2-year-old, I know his name and it was just so hard.  It was an out of body experience and such a happy sound when he started to cry.  It was an even happier sound when I heard paramedics,” said Friedler.

Caleb was rushed to the hospital after that, and by some miracle he survived.  He had no injuries at all, according to family.

“I was in the right place at the right time,” said Friedler. “Seconds matter, and Caleb is completely fine.  It’s overwhelming and it’s amazing to know that I get to watch him grow up and see him, and it could have been so different.”

Caleb’s family said they are forever grateful to their neighbor, and want to stress the importance of knowing how to perform CPR. 

“Her skill and knowledge made all of the difference in the world, the willingness to step up for her neighbors and not be afraid, that was just huge,” said Kendra.

“Nobody ever wants to have to use CPR, but you don’t want to not know how to do it when you need to use it.  It was a horrible experience, but as good of an outcome, and we’re so thankful.  We thank God and our neighbors for being available and having those relationships to help us,” said Kendra.

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