Nebraska Boy Receives Award for Saving Child from Drowning

Preston Caniglia
Sarpy County Sheriff's Office

A young boy in Sarpy County, Nebraska, is being praised for saving a drowning child during a pool party in June.

When Preston Caniglia, 12, saw his three-year-old cousin Dominik Schrawyer sinking to the bottom of the pool at his brother’s graduation party, he knew there was no time to waste, according to the Gretna Breeze.

The sixth-grader dove to the bottom of the seven-foot-deep pool then brought him up to the surface. Once their heads were above water, an adult helped pull the child out onto the ground.

“Dominik’s face was bright blue. It was then Preston realized he’d helped all he could and needed to let someone else take over. He said he felt helpless,” the Gretna Breeze reported.

Thankfully, Roxana Francke, who is a mom and a nurse, quickly performed CPR to revive the child while others called 911.

Preston’s brother, Trustin, ran barefoot to the fire department down the street for help.

Angela Caniglia, Preston’s mother, said it all happened so fast and stated that the child was surrounded by adults when the incident occurred.

However, she noted that the little boy must have removed his life jacket while eating a snack and forgot to put it back on before jumping into the water.

“Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

“Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States,” the agency states.

Statistically, June is the most dangerous time of year for children who spend their summers near pools or hot tubs, according to WebMD.

However, thanks to Preston’s heroic efforts, Dominik’s life was saved.

“You never know when you’re truly needed,” Angela said, adding that she taught her boys to be courageous in dangerous situations.

November 12, officials gave Preston and Francke the Citizens Recognition Award in honor of their life-saving actions.

“You shouldn’t just stand around and freeze,” Preston said during the ceremony. “You should force yourself to help them in any way you can.”

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