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8-Year-Old Boy's Quick Thinking Helps Save Baby Sister After He Discovers Her Unresponsive in Backyard Pool

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Pools are a great place to hang out and stay cool during blistering summer heat, but they’re also a parent’s worst nightmare.

It takes only a moment for disaster to strike, and it nearly did for a family in Placerville, California. If it hadn’t been for the family’s 8-year-old son and his vigilance, they would be one family member shorter this week.

Tino and his little sister Cami were playing inside their home when Tino noticed something that sends up red flags for every parent: quiet — too much quiet.

Realizing Cami was no longer near him, he started to look for her. His search led him outside, and he spotted her floating in the pool.

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He immediately screamed for his mother, Diana Conboy.

“I looked at the pool and then I saw Cami in there,” he said. “I said, ‘Mom!'”

Diana, a nurse, raced to the water and pulled her daughter out, starting CPR and directing Tino to call for help.

“That’s when she was able to throw up and start breathing and that’s when I saw signs of life.”

“It’s kind of a little bit of a blur to me just because it, it seemed like the timing was forever, but I’m sure it was just minutes,” Diana told KOVR-TV.

Tino called 911 and gave the operator their information, and help was on the way.

“She couldn’t move her muscles,” Tino recalled of seeing his sister. “She couldn’t move anything, even her eyes.”

“Basically Cami gave her power to me and then I had the power to scream and then Mom came over and jumped in and got Cami out,” Tino continued. “I thought she was brave that she just went in so that she could save her daughter.”

Many have pointed out that there should have been some sort of fence or cover on the pool to protect Cami from drowning, but there certainly is now. A fence was installed just a few days later to prevent something similar from happening again.

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In the meantime, everyone is incredibly thankful that Tino had the wherewithal to notice that things had gotten quiet and took it upon himself to go investigate.

“I’m just very impressed with him,” Diana said. “He was so calm and collective. You know, he called 911 and gave them our address, and told them to get here immediately.

“It was definitely the beginning of the worst day of my life but ended with the best day of our lives.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking