Mendon, MI – A seven-year-old boy who almost drowned was saved by a Michigan State Police trooper and Mendon police and rescuers on Wednesday.
The incident occurred at about 4:50 p.m. on May 9 when the seven year old and his eight-year-old sister were playing in a park across the street from their home.
The children went to go stick their feet in the St. Joseph River near Mill and Fremont streets, and the little boy fell in, WXMI reported. He couldn’t swim.
A friend who was with the brother and sister went to get their father, who was mowing the lawn nearby. The sister held her brother until the father was able to wade into the water and rescue his son, and pull him ashore, police said.
Authorities said the little boy had been under water for several minutes before his father was able to get to him.
Michigan State Trooper Erik Gantert responded to the scene to assist officers and rescuers from Mendon, according to a press release from the state police.
Upon arrival, Trooper Gantert recognized that the little boy was still in danger, and appeared to be in a “state of agonal breathing,” police said.
“Tpr. Gantert further recognized from his training that the child was still in significant danger of death and began directing further life-saving efforts,” the press release said.
The trooper began to perform rescue breathing while Mendon Police and Fire assisted in monitoring the child’s pulse and air intake.
Trooper Gantert performed rescue breathing for more than 15 minutes before the child began to breathe more regularly “while coughing up river water,” according to the Michigan State Police.
The boy had returned to a normal color and was crying by the time he was transported by South County Kalamazoo ambulance to Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo for further medical attention.
Trooper Gantert said he had spoken to the boy’s father since the incident, and that he said they expected the seven year old to make a full recovery.