At a popular Australian pool last week, Matthew Kennedy, an 8-year old boy with autism, a severe speech impediment and learning difficulties, recognized that Emily, a 3-year old girl, was in distress. He jumped in, grabbed her arms, lifted her head above the water and pulled her out of the pool. Emily was unconscious and foaming at the mouth. Matthew’s father and the lifeguard began CPR, Emily began to breathe again and she was taken to the emergency room, still alive.
There are two heroes in this story – the first is clearly Matthew, whose brave and selfless actions saved a younger child. The second is Matthew’s father, John Kennedy. Mr. Kennedy had been a lifeguard for 25 years. One month earlier he began teaching his children what to do in an emergency, as he himself knew water safety and CPR.
Teach water safety, swimming and CPR. Emily would thank you.