Sierra Vista women speak about saving toddler from drowning - Tucson News Now

Sierra Vista women speak about saving toddler from drowning

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
Kisha Hernandez (left) and Cierra Walker receive certificates of recognition from city medical officials. (Source: City of Sierra Vista) Kisha Hernandez (left) and Cierra Walker receive certificates of recognition from city medical officials. (Source: City of Sierra Vista)
Pool where the toddler was saved. (Source: Tucson News Now) Pool where the toddler was saved. (Source: Tucson News Now)
SIERRA VISTA, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Two Sierra Vista women saved a 2-year-old boy from drowning, and their effort was praised by local medical officials.

Kisha Hernandez and Cierra Walker joined Sierra Vista Fire and Medical Services and the Sierra Vista Police Department at a ceremony last Friday. The government agencies honored the two women for performing life-saving CPR on the toddler who nearly drowned at the Mountain Vista Apartments pool on Busby Drive.

Hernandez told Tucson News Now she was lounging by the pool before gathering up friends and family for a quiet barbecue event on Sunday, March 26. But she said she noticed something was odd, and saw that oddity coming, when she turned and spoke to an acquaintance at the pool.

"I said, 'does he know how to swim?' Hernandez shared about talking to the relative of a 2-year-old boy. "And she goes, 'I don't think so.' And I look, 'well, don't you think you might want to get him?'"

Moments later, Hernandez said the toddler walked into the water and did not come up for air. She watched as his family jumped in to pull him out and laid him down on the concrete. She said nobody appeared to know what to do, and family members were hysterical. 

Hernandez was a bystander to the ordeal, along with her friend Cierra Walker who lives at the complex. 

"That's when I walked over and I took over," Hernandez said. Her motherly instinct and her training also took over. She performed chest compressions and CPR, as Walker kneeled down to give air.

"He was vomiting in my mouth, I'm spitting it out, and I'm trying to blow," Walker said. "I just keep hearing somebody saying, 'keep going!' So Kisha is pushing, and he opens his eyes."

According to a news release from the city of Sierra Vista, Hernandez and Walker provided CPR until first responders got there. Hernandez was the first to respond, the news release said, and had taken CPR courses in the past. The child was able to make a full recovery thanks to the female bystanders.

They watched the color return to his face and body after he had not been responsive. 

"I see it on TV. It's nothing like TV," Walker said with a nervous smile. "You don't blow three times and they open their eyes and everybody is smiling. It doesn't go like that at all."

This was a real life they saved. A week later, they got the praise from Sierra Vista city officials.

Sierra Vista Fire and Medical Services Chief Ron York, as well as Sierra Vista Police Chief Adam Thrasher, presented certificates and commemorative coins recognizing Walker and Hernandez at a ceremony on Friday, March 31.

“We didn’t know what we were doing, but we did it,” Walker reportedly said at the ceremony at Fire Station 2. “He’s a baby, you don’t give up on a child.”

Sierra Vista officials wanted to remind people that a free Cardio Cerebral Resuscitation (CCR) class will be happening at Fire Station 3, located at 675 Giulio Cesare Avenue, on Tuesday, May 30, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

According to the news release, CCR is a new technique being recommended as an alternative to CPR "because it’s easier for bystanders to perform and may help them react more quickly. CCR focuses on compressions only, which is simpler than traditional CPR and can be just as effective in cases of cardiac arrest."

Officials said registration is required for the class. You can sign up online at www.SierraVistaAZ.gov by searching for “CCR,” or call (520) 417-4400.

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