A 6-year old boy pulled from a North Shore beach is alive, all because a Good Samaritan who knew how to perform CPR came to the rescue.
She is now sharing her story, hoping to inspire others to learn the life-saving technique.
Jodi Kealoha says she was working in Haleiwa at the time.
“It was a slow Sunday, Oct. 15. Can’t forget the day now,” she said. “I heard someone screaming at the beach, and then I looked over to water line, and there was a child being removed from the water and he looked like he was dead.”
Kealoha says she sprinted to the boy and checked for signs of life, but he had no pulse and he wasn’t breathing.
“He was purple in color and immediately I went into doing CPR,” she said.
Kealoha says her training as a certified lifeguard automatically kicked in. She performed two cycles of chest compressions and rescue breaths.
“I could only hear what was going on around me, but I only had tunnel vision for him and I just, once I heard shallow breaths, I continued chest compressions,” she said.
The boy started choking and Kealoha says she put him on his side in the recovery position.
“He began to throw up liquids and foam from his mouth. His color slowly started coming back from purple to a normal-looking child,”
Kealoha says he finally opened his eyes after about two to three minutes.
“I just stayed with him and asked people, ‘What’s his name?’ And they said Arman. I said, ‘It’s okay, Arman. Your mommy is here,'” she said.
She says she told Arman’s mother she was certified in CPR and he was going to be okay.
“I feel God took the wheel over and my training went into automatic,” she said.
Dory Clisham, training manager at American Medical Response, says learning CPR to save a life is easy.
“We don’t really need people to be certified. We just need them to take a class, a hands-only CPR class, which takes only a few minutes,” Clisham said.
Clisham says there is a 10-minute window to save a person’s life from the time they stop breathing, and 39 percent of people are saved when they collapse and CPR is administered.
“If you don’t do anything, you’re not going to save a life,” she said.
Kealoha says she’d like an opportunity to see Arman and his family again.
AMR offers hands-only CPR classes free of charge. Call 487-4900 to schedule an appointment or click here for more information about CPR and other life-saving classes.
The Honolulu Fire Department also offers free hands-on training. Call 723-7019 for more information.