Teenagers have a reputation for being aloof to the world around them. Stuck between the reality of the real world and their childhood innocence, being a teenager can be difficult.
Fortunately, one teenager in Rochester, Minnesota was paying attention. At only 13 years old, Cody Runyon was faced with a life or death situation.
Runyon was at the Essex Park pool in Minnesota on June 6.
With plenty of others mulling around in the area, Runyon was first to notice a boy lying motionless at the bottom of the pool. Without a moments thought, he dove down and pulled him out.
“I went under water, and all of a sudden I see him just laying on the ground just sitting down in 5 feet, just passed out,” he said to KTTC. “I grabbed him like that like around his waist, and then his head was over my shoulder and I started carrying him.”
There was no lifeguard on duty at the pool. Fortunately, Desiree Pasko was nearby and saw the entire incident unfold before her eyes.
She quickly went to work trying to revive the young boy, who’d yet to begin moving or breathing. After several repetitions of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, the boy remained unresponsive.
Pasko continued performing CPR, switching to chest compressions.
Pasko admits she initially had trouble coming to terms with the reality of the situation.
“Adrenalin was so surreal at the time that I walked over and said to the young man that had drowned, ‘This isn’t funny. If you’re playing this isn’t funny,'” Pasko said KTTC.
“I said it two or three times before I knew that it was just time to pull him out and I pulled him out and initiated CPR.”
After switching over to chest compressions, she started noticing signs that the boy might be returning to consciousness. She heard a small gurgle, his cheeks turned pink, and he appeared as if he may ready to vomit some of the water in his lungs.
“I could hear a small gurgle, and his cheeks got pink. When his cheeks turned pink, I gave one more breath, I did two more big pumps, and then I tipped him over just praying that he would vomit and he did,” Pasko said.
“And when he’d vomited I started screaming ‘He’s alive! He’s alive!”
The boy lived thanks to the heroic rescue by 13-year-old Runyon, and Pasko’s CPR efforts.
Neither would have been able to play their part in the rescue if it weren’t for the other. Runyon and Pasko worked as a team to save a life on what was supposed to be a casual day by the pool.
The boy who nearly drowned, identified only as Evan, 12, had nothing but praise and thanks for the duo that saved his life.
“They’re definitely my heroes because without Cody and Des I wouldn’t be alive,” Evan said to ABC.
Runyon, who only weighs 80 pounds, and Pasko, who struggles with her mobility because of fibromyalgia, combined to do something truly remarkable. Both were shaken by the incident but were grateful of the outcome.
“Watching a boy go from totally blue to a little bit pink is a rewarding feeling,” Pasko said to ABC.