Advertisement

Lawrence 12-year-old alerts dad, 4-year-old rescued after seen unresponsive in pool

A Lawrence 12-year-old alerted his dad after he saw a 4-year-old unresponsive in pool. The dad...
A Lawrence 12-year-old alerted his dad after he saw a 4-year-old unresponsive in pool. The dad was able to save the child.(Lawrence Douglas County Fire Department)
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 11:02 AM CDT|Updated: May. 26, 2022 at 3:14 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAWRENCE, Kan. (KCTV) - A child was credited with helping save the life of a Lawrence boy, alerting his dad when he saw a 4-year-old unresponsive in a pool.

The Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical and the Lawrence Police Department said on May 18, first responders were made aware of a drowning call at an apartment complex.

Officials said that 12-year-old Maddox Westerhaus had noticed a child unresponsive and floating in the complex pool. He immediately made his father, Thomas Westerhaus, aware.

“Definitely hits home harder, having a son myself and everything,” Westerhaus said. “Glad everything turned out the way it did.”

Thomas Westerhaus jumped the locked fence outside the pool, pulled 4-year-old, Xzavier Rigney, from the water and performed chest compressions for longer than two minutes. The boy began to cry and was breathing when paramedics responded to the scene.

First responders said Xzavier was under the water for three minutes and 22 seconds.

“Anything can happen, anything can happen in a matter of minutes.” said Xzavier’s mother Alexis who was caring for her other child when he walked outside. “He just didn’t know any better. He just likes to swim, you know.”

The agencies awarded Maddox and Thomas with certificates in recognition of their life-saving efforts.

Alexis Rigney, Xzavier’s mother, attended the ceremony and was moved to tears when recalling the event.

“I’m just glad that he’s okay now,” she said. “He’s my best friend, so I don’t know what I’d do without him.”

The Lawrence Douglas County Fire Medical and the Lawrence Police Department held the news conference in the ceremony to raise awareness for water safety, especially with children during the summer months.

They are hosting a safety event at Clinton Lake on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. First responders will provide helmets and life jackets to anyone in need at 798 N. 1415 Road.

A 12-year-old and his father were awarded for their life-saving efforts in rescuing a drowning child.