A police officer with the Nogales, Arizona, Police Department was reunited with a teen after he saved the boy’s life during a drowning incident.
Officer Fernando Hernandez was credited for his quick actions that day to bring 14-year-old Christian Andres Lopez Gomez back to life.
Gomez had been swimming in the pool of the Americana Hotel with his sister when he got a cramp in his leg and began to sink in the pool’s deep end.
“I was sinking in the water, and I remember it getting deeper and darker, and then I just fell into like a dream,” Gomez said. “There was like a second it felt like my spirit was leaving my body.”
When his family pulled him out, Gomez was unconscious and not breathing.
“To see him so vulnerable there and I couldn’t do anything about it, it was just very, very bad for me. I remember that I was shaking and screaming, and I just couldn’t do anything,” mother Laura Lopez told KOLD 13.
Fortunately for Gomez and his family, Officer Hernandez was just getting out of his car and immediately rushed over to take over CPR.
“When I first saw him, he was pale, and his lips were purple,” Hernandez recalled. “I was looking at him in his eyes, and I just thought to myself, ‘you’re not going to die, not today, not on me.’”
After a minute of chest compressions, Gomez opened his eyes. He was then transported to a local hospital, where doctors said he had only a 27% chance of recovery.
“In the middle of the drive in the ambulance, they were telling me if I was in there for a minute longer, I wouldn’t be here and how they were about to pronounce me dead,” Christian said.
Gomez said the ordeal was life-changing.
“It gave me a new perspective on life because beforehand, I was like, I don’t have a purpose,” Gomez said. “I’m just going through teenage struggles, and then when this happened, it really boosted my self-esteem like I have a purpose because I was brought back.”
Gomez still has to get checked by the doctor to make sure there is no water remaining in his lungs.
“I’m so thankful that he’s here, that he actually survived this whole incident,” Christian’s mother said. “Now we have a new perspective on life after this incident. We’re more thankful for everything. We spend more family time together.”
She said that the incident made her realize the importance for parents to learn CPR and to always keep an eye on their kids while they are swimming.