A woman was formally recognized in North Richland Hills, Texas, on Monday after she helped save a drowning toddler.
Brandi Rowntree reunited with the little boy whose life she saved and got to hug his mother. She also received an award from the city of North Richland Hills, Fox 4 reported.
Leslie Resendiz was overflowing with gratitude for her and the first responders who revived her two-year-old, Carlos Gonzalez, after he fell into a pond in June.
“That day, I literally went and hugged her and cried with her and told her I was so thankful that she was there that day,” she commented.
Bodycam video recorded by motorcycle officers showed the tense moments after Rowntree brought the boy out of the water at Linda Spurlock Park:
“He was blue,” she explained.
Rowntree said the afternoon began as a birthday party with her own children when she suddenly heard the child’s aunt screaming.
“And she goes, ‘I can’t swim! Help him! Help him!'” she told Fox 4, adding that she looked at the water and saw small shoes floating on the surface.
She immediately jumped in and brought the boy out.
“I knew the only way that he had a chance is if I did whatever I could do,” she commented.
In order to help, she relied on informal CPR training learned from her mother years ago while the child’s aunt called 911.
North Richland Hills officers Rafael Cortes and John Hyde were nearby and rushed over to find Rowntree working to revive the little boy. The officers handed him over to an EMT who helped him get his breath back.
Cortes and Hyde praised Rowntree for her efforts.
“She made all the difference in the world,” Hyde noted. “Without her, we wouldn’t have had a chance.”
Officials presented Rowntree with an award as a thank you for her actions. She was grateful but shared the credit with the first responders.
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“My husband and I have four children,” she explained. “And I just prayed that somebody wouldn’t give up on ours.”