6 Year Old Drowning Victim Saved with the Help of an AED


Cardiac arrest can occur due to a number of reasons. Arrhythmias and other pre-existing heart conditions are often the underlying problem, but electrocution and other trauma can cause even the most healthy individuals to suffer sudden cardiac arrest. Such was the case for one young New Jersey boy this summer when he nearly drowned off the Jersey Shore.

The six year old was at the beach on July 20th when he began to drown. Fortunately, he was spotted and brought out of the water. Onlookers described his skin as a deep blue, and he was not breathing. Fortunately, several bystanders jumped into action to help on-duty lifeguards save the boy’s life. These rescuers included local school nurse Donna Ciongli who was visiting the beach with her family as well as another nurse, a firefighter, and a retired EMT. One of the rescuers performed CPR, and fortunately the lake’s emergency response team had an AED kept nearby which was quickly deployed.

They were fortunately able to revive the boy with just one defibrillation shock. The retired EMT on scene also performed intubation in order to expel the excess water from the boy’s body. He was airlifted to a local hospital and released on July 27th with no signs of permanent damage. Last week, he met several of his rescuers. Nurse Ciongli says, “He came up to me and just hugged me for a good two minutes. His father hugged me, and kept saying that we’d be lifelong friends.” (Source)

This is such an amazing story of teamwork to save a young boy’s life. We know that many of our readers work in emergency services, and many of you are prepared to jump in during an emergency even while you are off-duty. We hope this story reminds you just how important your skills and willingness to act truly are.

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