The Charlotte Observer
A 15-year-old Ohio boy is being hailed a “hero” for saving his neighbor from drowning after an ATV careened into a pond.
Bob Gomez, of Defiance, was riding a four-wheeler on Sunday, Nov. 14, when he lost control, crashed and “almost drowned,” his daughter, Andrea Flores, said in a Facebook post.
“It’s kind of a short turn and so I must have turned too sharp … because I did a fish tail and then I over corrected and went into the pond,” Gomez told TV station WTOL.
The 65-year-old man can’t swim, the outlet reported.
“(I was) having fun and then before I knew it, I was in the water,” Gomez said, quickly sinking and taking in water. “And it’s like a nightmare. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I said, ‘I gotta be dreaming this.’”
Dotson rushed into the water and pulled Gomez to the shore by his helmet, Flores said in her post. Back on land, Dotson started to perform CPR on Gomez.
“By the grace of God, [Dotson’s mother] was home and was able to call 911,” Flores said.
When first responders arrived, Gomez was not only alive, but able to communicate, thanks to Dotson’s life-saving skills — which he learned from watching YouTube videos, the Crescent-News reported.
“The things that he’s seen on YouTube is what saved Mr. Gomez’s life,” Defiance firefighter Roy Perez told the outlet. “For him to hurry up and get him promptly out of the water, to recognize that he had to do CPR — that’s everything that we do when we arrive on scene.”
By the next afternoon, Gomez was recovered and “already talking about getting back to work,” Flores said.
“Hugging this young man and thanking him for saving my dad’s life is just not enough,” she wrote. “Damian is a hero and I want him to know how much my family will be forever thankful.”