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Sunday, May 1, 2016

SL child's rescuer: 'I thank God for putting me in the right place'

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Carla Peterson of Aurelia was at the right place at the right time on Sunday afternoon and helped bring back to life a 2-year-old child who was drowning at Bel Air Beach.

She doesn't want to be called a hero, and doesn't feel she deserves such attention.

"I am just glad I was there to help him," Peterson said.

She and her husband Bruce and a friend had been boating on Storm Lake and had just docked at Bel Air Beach when they saw a commotion on the beach. A registered nurse for 20 years, she on instinct ran to a crowd to see if assistance was needed, not even sure of what the situation was.

"I just knew there were a lot of anxious people and when I got there, people were screaming, 'Does anyone know CPR?' I said I did and the crowd made way for me."

It wasn't until then that she saw the tiny form of lifeless Marquan Brown of Storm Lake before her. Another rescuer had pulled him out of the lake after he had been spotted floating face down.

She didn't hesitate. No one else in the crowd of about 15 knew CPR to help her.

She found a slight pulse and performed rescue respirations five times.

"He responded well and is a lucky little guy," she said. "He was in big trouble."

It was encouraging after three respirations that he started, weakily, breathing on his own. He regained consciousness so she turned him on his side to get some of the fluids out of his lungs. And then he began to cry.

"I liked the crying - that got him to take some big breaths," she commented.

The ambulance crew arrived and she explained what had transpired. He was transported to Buena Vista Regional Medical Center for observation.

It took some time to reflect on what had really occurred, she said, after it was all over.

As a nurse, she had performed CPR several times before. This time, as in others, she said, "I was just glad that he was alright. But this time, I just thank God for putting me in that place at the right time and giving me the knowledge of what to do. I'm just so glad the little guy is ok."

Investigation at the scene determined the child had wandered into the water unnoticed, under the care of a young lady. He was unconscious when spotted in the water.

Summer fun often includes playing in a pool or the lake. Parents are cautioned to keep an eye on their young children at all times when they are near the water.

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