BHS grad saves child’s life; credits school for training

BREMEN — 2012 Bremen High School graduate Shelly Gutierrez learned CPR her sophomore year in health class, but didn’t realize how important that lesson would be until just a week ago. Gutierrez was visiting her aunt, Linda Swart, in Fishers and enjoying time in a neighborhood pool when a lazy summer day turned deadly.
“There were about four families at the pool,” remembered Gutierrez. “I was holding my aunt’s 9-month-old daughter. There was a little girl playing near the deep end, but her mom was right there. She just disappeared…and nobody knew. About five minutes later (a woman) saw something on the bottom of the pool.”
Gutierrez said the people at the pool pulled the 5-year-old toddler from the pool, and tried to perform CPR on her unconscious body.
“Everyone ran over to (the girl) and they were trying to do CPR but nobody knew how to do it,” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez and another woman who was currently in nursing school took over.
“I gave her five pumps, and the other girl would give her breaths,” said Gutierrez, adding that the two were working on the toddler for about five to seven minutes. “Finally, she started puking up mucus,” said Gutierrez. “I think (the other adults) learned CPR a long time ago, so they just forgot. I recently just gradated so I remembered it. I thought I would never have to use it (when I learned). I think every school should teach CPR, because if I hadn’t learned it that girl would have been dead.”
She said that the pool the incident happened in was not manned by a lifeguard because it was a private pool in a subdivision.
“In the beginning, (the toddler) had floaties on her arms, but she took them off to eat a snack,” said Gutierrez, adding that the scary instance has made her more watchful of children at pools.
“Whenever I go to the pool I am watching every kid because I am so terrified that it will happen again,” said Gutierrez.
Gutierrez plans to go to Indiana University South Bend this fall to study radiology, and will definitely maintain her CPR skills.