RENO, NV - “It was hot. We were in Virginia City all day and we just decided we wanted to come and cool down. We were out swimming around 15- to-20 minutes,” says Garet Bartholomew.
Of the river he says it's deceiving.
“It's fast and its slippery. All the rock on the ground, even if you go out there with water shoes on, your feet can slip out from underneath you. I mean, I'm not that tall, but it pushes me along. I've just got to dig my feet in to stand up,” says Bartholomew.
After a time Garet says he and his girlfriend got out of the water, and sat up on shore.
In a matter of minutes his easy-going afternoon would turn into a life and death situation.
“We heard a bunch of people yelling, and I looked over at the water and there was a whole group of people coming out with a kid in their arms and he was completely limp. I just stood up and told my girlfriend that I was CPR certified and I should go over there. So I went over there when I got over there, nobody knew how to do CPR. They are all, standing over him.”
“So I jumped in and started going,” Bartholomew continued, “ The lady that was speaking English knelt down and helped me. So I started doing CPR. She was doing the breaths, so I helped her through that by tilting his head back and telling her to do the breaths. After about 2 cycles, he pushed out quite a bit of water out of his nose and mouth. He got real gurgling breaths but they weren't consistent and they weren't hold on. So we kept going with CPR and kept going.”
“I have nieces and nephews now and that made it tough,” says Bartholomew.
Bartholomew said of the nearly drowned child, “He was the same size as them. That's what kept going through my mind, my nieces and nephews. What if this was somebody I knew? What if this was my niece or nephew? I just didn't stop. I knew that if I stopped I didn't know that somebody could take over and keep going. And there was no one that was stepping in that could switch out with. So I went and kept going with it until the paramedics came,” says Bartholomew.
“That's it. I hope he is all right. I hope is family is all right. And I hope the grows up to be a tough kid,” concluded Bartholomew .