Mother-son duo saves drowning 3-year-old with quick action, CPR

A mother and son team's quick action saved the life of a 3-year-old who was drowning Saturday evening.

The boy was taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare emergency room.

Leon County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Bishop who was at the scene and commended the heroism of Severia Heard and her son, Colbi, said the 3-year-old was “still doing fine.”

Heard was at the Lakes at San Marcos Apartments pool off Woodville Highway with her 9-year-old son Colbi when he noticed the younger boy, who is seen on video struggling in the water for nearly three minutes.

Heard said it was a typical day at the pool. She was cooking burgers and hot dogs on the grill, when her son, who is autistic, came up to her. He didn't want to get back into the water because he felt the pool was too crowded.

With Colbi out of the water, Heard said she relaxed her supervision of the pool and focused again on grilling. That was when she heard several people shouting, "My baby, my baby."

According to Heard and the Leon County Sheriff's Office, which responded to a call about the incident, Colbi first noticed the 3-year-old drowning and helped his mother get the boy out of the pool.

"The (boy's) family kept asking me 'how long was he under?' and I told them I didn't know. But when I asked who found him, they all told me it was Colbi."

Luckily for the young boy's parents, Heard, 32, is a nurse who is trained in CPR. She began administering aid to the young boy, whose body was "lifeless" at the time.

"I haven't necessarily practiced on a 2- or 3-year-old, but I have done CPR on the elderly. So I was scared, I was scared I was hurting him, but at the same time I kept repeating 'Please baby, don't die on me,'" she recalled.

Heard said the first sign of life was his vomiting as he regained consciousness. She instantly felt relief.

By the time LCSO deputies and paramedics arrived, the boy was breathing again and had started crying.

Reflecting on the situation later that night, Heard said she was in tears.

"All I could think about was my own kid, and what if that was him. I was praying, if anything was to ever happen like that, let someone who's certified be around."

For Heard, the whole scenario only strengthened an already strong faith.

"I don't know if it was fate, but that was the time to have trust and know there is a God because we weren't even going to be at the pool," Heard said. "He didn't want to be in the pool ... It was just meant for us to be there."

Heard stressed that Colbi is the real hero.

"He doesn't get as much praise as he should. He's been known to be a troubled young man, but I'm telling him he is an awesome kid no matter what anyone tells him. He has so many great attributes, and he really cares."

Tallahassee Democrat


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