A Colorado man saved a toddler from drowning in a lake and was praised after his story went viral.
Angelo Mondragon, a Fort Collins-based plumber, said he was at Windsor Lake with his family when he felt 3-year-old Sitlali Hernandez’s body floating next to him. He was walking waist-deep in the water when he felt something bump up against his leg.
“It felt like something you normally wouldn’t feel in the water,” he told the Coloradoan. “I did sort of a back kick to bring up whatever it was, and then I saw the bottom of a baby’s foot float up.”
Mondragon pulled the girl up from the water and started screaming for the girl’s family and bystanders to call 911.
“I grabbed her and carried her limp body to the shore,” he said. “The girl was already blue. She wasn’t breathing.”
Two off-duty nurses assisted Mondragon in performing CPR on the girl before emergency personnel arrived. She was then rushed to the hospital and was later said to be in good condition.
“If I was not in that right spot at the right time, it could have been a search and rescue mission,” he said. “As I told the little girl’s mom, when I saw the baby’s toes that became my baby.”
Mondragon said he felt compelled to work with residents and businesses in the area to collect life vests for those who aren’t able to afford them.
“The baby was not wearing a life vest,” he said. “If she was wearing one, the whole situation could have been different.”
Many readers praised the man for his heroic rescue.
“God bless all who were there to help. The Lord placed all of you where and when you were needed. The parents need to be questioned about this situation,” one reader commented on Facebook.
“Remember folks, 2, 3, and 4 year olds can get out of their parents sights in the blink of an eye!! They are curious and are exploring this big ole world they are in. Imagine the parents were frantically searching for her when, by the grace of God and her Guardian Angel, she was found and saved. Thank you to those responding to save her life. She is truly Blessed!!” another wrote.
“Always keep your eye out for your children in a bleak of eye many things can happen. Thank you for saving her life,” another added.