While this group of friends were out skating together, they spotted something disturbing: a lifeless body lying next to the women’s public restroom. Reluctantly, and after seeing the condition the woman was in, they edged closer. It soon became apparent that she wasn’t breathing, and as a result, they quickly called 911. But things didn’t end there; in fact, what these kids did next left everyone stunned.
When someone is in need of assistance, it’s so easy to turn a blind eye and leave it to somebody else to help. And it’s also easy to make a snap judgment about somebody based on how they look or what they’re doing. But these boys defied any preconceptions and stepped up to the mark.
And there’s another stereotype the boys go against, too. That’s all to do with the fact that we live in a time when health experts worry that kids aren’t getting enough exercise, or spend too much time playing computer games or on other devices. Children need fresh air and interaction.
However, these six friends – Owen, Miles, Waylon, Kevin, Noah and Jonah – are keen skaters who enjoy being outdoors. On December 14, 2016, moreover, the gang were hanging out at their local skating facility, the Santa Rita Park in Tucson, Arizona. And at one point in the day, they suddenly spotted something unusual and so decided to investigate further.
What the group of boys had seen was a woman sprawled motionless outside the public restrooms. Undoubtedly, it was a shocking sight for the youngsters. But nonetheless they ventured closer, and as they approached they saw that the situation was very grave indeed.
One of the group, Jonah, later told Tucson News Now, “We didn’t really know what was happening.” But as they got closer, it became clear to them all that they had a life-or-death situation on their hands. Indeed, the stranger lying on the floor in front of them was in serious trouble.
Owen, another of the boys, told Tucson News Now, “She looked like a zombie. She was really skinny.” And right at that moment, the woman’s homeless friend emerged from the bathroom, seemingly oblivious to what was going on. Apparently, the woman on the ground had just collapsed without warning.
“We immediately knew it was serious,” Owen told Tucson News Now. It was a situation the boys in turn described as “terrifying” and “traumatizing.” And yet, despite their fears, they knew something had to be done. But what could six young boys do in this situation?
Well, first of all, they immediately found a phone. And realizing that the woman was in serious need of medical attention, one of them dialed 911. Furthermore, while the call was being placed some of the other boys did their best to keep onlookers calm. But their actions didn’t stop there.
One of the group bent down and reached for the woman’s arm. He was checking for a pulse. With the woman looking in such a bad way, the boys knew they couldn’t even wait for paramedics to arrive. Instead, they had switched to autopilot and taken matters into their own hands.
“I think Miles went over and took her pulse to see if her heart was still beating,” Owen told Tucson News Now. “He could barely feel it, but it was there.” The boys continued like pros who had been doing this their whole lives. In fact, Owen then began to perform CPR.
“I thought I’m probably not going to succeed anything, but I tried it,” Owen recalled. It was a remarkably mature thing for a young boy to be undertaking in such a terrifying situation. What’s more, the six friends were displaying immense coolness under pressure.
Despite Owen’s reservations that CPR would work, he nonetheless persisted. In fact, he would continue to perform chest compressions for around five minutes. And the young man even found the good nature to joke with the woman’s friend during the whole ordeal.
Owen told Tucson News Now, “I actually asked her homeless friend: do you want to do mouth to mouth? Because I’m good.” The boy’s persistence paid off, however. Indeed, by the time the emergency services showed up, the situation had improved immensely.
As paramedics arrived at the scene, in fact, the woman was breathing and was able to talk. Owen had saved her life by using the same skill he had seen save the life of his own grandfather. And when he was faced with a situation where it was needed, he jumped into action.
Owen told Tucson News Now that, despite the dubious-looking nature of the woman, he wasn’t afraid to step in and help. He said, “We weren’t scared to talk to them, like, to get close to them because they’re just people.” That’s possibly not an attitude you might expect from a group of youngsters.
And the boys’ selfless gestures extended beyond the incident, too. Miles admitted that for some time afterward, he had thought about the woman. He told Tucson News Now, “I thought about it for a while, like, is she alright? What happened?”
They didn’t know who the woman was, and they may never learn what happened to her or what caused her to collapse in the park. But what is known is that the boys’ actions saved her life that day. And their quick-thinking responses were recognized by local authorities, who presented Owen with a certificate.
Owen was given a Citizens Award, presented by the Office of the Fire Chief. It said, “Your immediate response to assist someone having a medical emergency directly impacted their life. Your decisiveness contributed to a positive outcome, and the Tucson Fire Department commends you for your actions.”
“CPR isn’t that hard,” a modest Owen told Tuscon News Now. “It’s really just knowing what to do at the time.” But while it may be a simple thing to learn, it is a potentially life-saving one, as the boys demonstrated. And so, soon after the incident, Owen approached his headmaster so that every student in his school could learn the crucial skill, too.