PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Hot temperatures are in store for Portlanders this weekend, which means people are flocking to local spots to keep cool.

“It’s great – the water’s great,” Sam Cooperstone said.

“We’re at the docks on the Willamette River. Very nice day, nice place to jump in the cool water when it’s really hot,” Julie Lo said.

But before you head out to a local watering hole or even your own backyard to swim, Damascus mom Crystal Mendez is urging everyone, especially those with young kids, to use life jackets and common sense.

“People think this would never happen to me, I watch my child, but the distractions are so quick – to pick up and respond to a text message, or to take a picture with a friend and you don’t realize you just took your eyes off your children. Supervision is a huge piece,” Mendez said.

Mendez has this warning after her own son had a near-drowning accident in a pool 10 years ago on Friday.

“I noticed the group of kids, there were probably about five of them coming, running around the corner and I noticed Gabriel wasn’t with them. So, when I recognized he wasn’t with them, my eyes immediately shot over to that pool where I saw his life jacket was floating flat at the surface of the water,” Mendez said.

Mendez said this accident happened in just a matter of six minutes. Gabriel was 3 years old when it happened.

“It was during transportation that he was finally resuscitated. Approximately, from the time of the 911 call about 30 minutes without a pulse. So, due to that amount of time he has an anoxic brain injury from oxygen loss to his brain with a number of secondary diagnoses, including cerebral palsy,” Mendez said.

Now, 10 years later, Mendez said they’re more grateful than ever to still have Gabriel.

“Every day is a blessing moving forward. It’s more than we thought we would get,” Mendez said.

Mendez said she doesn’t think everyone should be afraid of going in the water – they just need to be careful.

Copyright 2020 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


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(2) comments


Why does that kid look so angry?

Terrell Higgs

The kid's brain damaged, often they can't control their facial features or emotions, have a heart and think before you post something

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