When tragedy strikes, it isn’t comic book superheroes that come to the rescue. Instead, it is often regular folk, such as Angelo Mondragon, who save the day.
On the outset, Angelo is your average working man. The local plumber and dedicated Colorado father, 32 at the time of the incident, could never have imagined what would unfold during a peaceful family vacation at Windsor Lake in 2015.
Angelo stepped into the lake and was standing about waist deep when he felt something brush up against his foot. He knew immediately that something was terribly wrong.
“A baby’s toes surfaced. I saw just the bottom of her feet surface. Right then, at that moment, that became my child,” he said.
Angelo urgently but calmly lifted the limp and “already blue” young child from the water. It was 3-year-old Sitlali Hernandez, who had wandered away from relatives and found herself drowning in the lake.
“I was yelling, screaming, terrified, but I felt an amazing calm,” Angelo said. Thankfully, two certified nurses were on site and together, they performed CPR and managed to resuscitate the small child on site. “I breathed one little breath into her, and she immediately exhaled,” Angelo said.
Angelo said he is not a hero – just a father – and that Sitali will now forever have a place in his heart.
“I’m a father. And I saw a baby who needed help. It’s something you don’t wanna think about. You don’t want to imagine yourself in that situation,” Angelo said.
Little Sitlali was immediately taken to hospital where she was soon up and talking, according to her mother, who, as any mother could expect, could barely find the words to thank Angelo, fiercely embracing him upon their meeting.
Sitlali has since made a full recovery and she and her family had a heartfelt meeting with the hero that saved her life.
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