Madison Atkinson is being hailed as a hero after saving a relative who was about to drown in the family pool on Thanksgiving.
According to a video clip from a home security camera, 3-year-old Maxine toddled into the backyard and mistakenly slipped into the pool while her family was preparing breakfast.
Almost four minutes later, Maxine’s uncle found her floating face down. “She was pretty much lifeless,” Kirsten Atkinson, Madison’s mother, told TODAY.
15-year-old Madison responded to the toddler’s uncle’s calls for assistance by starting to administer CPR to Maxine.
Madison recounted to ABC 7, “I saw that he was trying the Heimlich. But I knew in that case you needed CPR because she didn’t seem like she was breathing. I told everyone I knew CPR and it calmed everyone down. Then they just laid her down on the ground and I started CPR.”
Kirsten Atkinson, who witnessed the teen in action, also told TODAY, “Madison’s just pumping away for a couple of minutes, and finally, Maxine starts to open her eyes and start to breathe. The dispatcher said, ‘Put her on her side.’ And when we did that, Maxine opened her eyes and starts to literally breathe on her own.”
“The entire time Madison’s there just calm, cool, collected, not panicked,” she added.
The paramedics were impressed by Madison’s prompt response and inquired about her age when they arrived. The hero, Madison, who is also the captain of the JV cheer squad at her school, revealed that she learned how to perform CPR in a sports medicine class.
Because of her daughter’s ability to save lives, Kirsten Atkinson said they had much to be grateful for that day.
“We were able to celebrate Thanksgiving in a different way, right? It was about, you know, how precious life is and how things can change in the blink of an eye,” she stated.
Though Maxine is completely healed, Kirsten Atkinson added that their entire family is committing to getting CPR training.