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Incredible hero saves neighbor’s autistic son, four, from drowning in pool

This is the incredible moment a Kansas man saved his neighbor’s four-year-old autistic son from drowning by pulling him out of a pool and performing CPR for nearly three minutes. 

It had been fifteen years since Tom Westerhouse, of Lawrence, received CPR training, but when his 12-year-old son Maddox came seeking help for little Xavier, Westerhouse’s father instincts took over. 

The heroic father rushed to his apartment complex’s pool area and without thinking about it twice, jumped a fence to pull Xavier from the water.

Heart-stopping surveillance footage from the May 18 incident shows Westerhouse tirelessly giving CPR for two minutes and forty-one seconds to the little boy, who is autistic and nonverbal. 

‘When he started to cough up water… I knew it was a good sign,’ Westerhouse said.

Xavier’s mother, Alexis Rigney, said she was immensely grateful that Maddox had been playing with friends around the pool area, and said she could not fathom what could have happened if Westerhouse hadn’t saved her son. 

‘I don’t know what I would have done if [Maddox] wouldn’t have been in the pool and hadn’t seen [Xavier],’ she said in tears.  

Westerhouse and Maddox have since been given Hometown Hero awards on behalf of the Lawrence Fire Medical Department for their heroic actions.

During a press conference, they also met Reign and had a chance to see Xavier, who has made a full recovery. 

This is the incredible moment Kansas father Tom Westerhouse saved his neighbor’s four-year-old autistic son from drowning by pulling him out of a pool and performing CPR for nearly three minutes

Xavier Reign moments before he jumped in his apartment complex's pool

Tom Westerhouse giving CPR to little Xavier

It had been fifteen years since Westerhouse, of Lawrence, received CPR training, but when his 12-year-old son Maddox came seeking help for little Xavier, Westerhouse’s father instincts took over

Westerhouse and Maddox have since been given Hometown Hero awards on behalf of the Lawrence Fire Medical Department for their heroic actions during a press conference where they met Reign and also had a chance to see Xavier

Westerhouse and Maddox have since been given Hometown Hero awards on behalf of the Lawrence Fire Medical Department for their heroic actions during a press conference where they met Reign and also had a chance to see Xavier

The Lawrence Fire Department shared the Westerhouses’ brave actions in hopes it would raise awareness of how immediate actions can make the difference between life and death in emergency situations. 

The incident took place on May 18, after mother Alexis Reign took a quick bathroom break.  

Reign said that she then went to pick up her four-month-old daughter, who was crying, but Xavier was nowhere to be found. 

‘So I went to his room and checked and he wasn’t there,’ Reign said at the press conference where Westerhouse and his son were awarded. 

‘I went to the living room because he plays in the living room, that’s where the TV is, and he wasn’t there but the door was open.’

Xavier was first spotted by 12-year-old Maddox as the younger boy lay motionless inside the pool. According to authorities he had been in the water for three minutes and twenty-two seconds. 

‘My friends were yelling at me to go get help and I just went like ”oh no” and ran,’ Maddox said. 

The incident took place on May 18, after mother Alexis Reign had taken a quick bathroom break. Reign said that she then went to pick up her four-month-old daughter, who was crying, but Xavier was nowhere to be found

The incident took place on May 18, after mother Alexis Reign had taken a quick bathroom break. Reign said that she then went to pick up her four-month-old daughter, who was crying, but Xavier was nowhere to be found

Xavier was first spotted by 12-year-old Maddox as the younger boy lay motionless inside the pool. According to authorities he had been in the water for three minutes and twenty-two seconds

Xavier was first spotted by 12-year-old Maddox as the younger boy lay motionless inside the pool. According to authorities he had been in the water for three minutes and twenty-two seconds

Xavier was saved by Tom Westerhouse

Westerhouse was awarded for his heroic actions

The Lawrence Fire Department shared the Westerhouses’ brave actions hoping to raise awareness of how immediate actions can make the difference between life and death in emergency situations

Tom Westerhouse (right) and his son Maddox Westerhouse (left)

Tom Westerhouse (right) and his son Maddox Westerhouse (left) 

What followed were moments of pure anguish, as Reign noticed sirens and emergency vehicles  approaching the building complex. 

‘I didn’t see anybody but I could see the paramedics and fire department going into the back of the building so I followed them and Xavier was being pulled out of the pool,’ the distraught mother said. 

‘But I didn’t see him moving so I didn’t know he was okay at the time.’

Reign said anything could happen in a matter of minutes, and that she has since learned autistic children are especially drawn to bodies of water. 

‘A lot of autistic kids, they love large bodies of water, pools, lakes and like the ocean. I didn’t know until I was in the hospital, they let me know a lot of information about autistic kids,’ she said. 

According to the National Drowning Prevention League, children with autism are ten times more likely to drown. 

Xavier has since made a full recovery, his grateful mother said. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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