A Muscatine family says they are thankful an off-duty police officer was in the right place at the right time to save their son's life.
Officer Whitni Pena happened to be at the same birthday party as Kaysen Simonson on Saturday and saw him drowning.
Pena performed C-P-R on the child and kept him alive until paramedics arrived. Pena tells KWQC-TV 6 she first saw her friend pulling Kaysen out of the water.
"I noticed her pulling a child from the shallow end to the pool deck,” Pena said. “I instantly took off running and noticed the child needed CPR."
Hesitating in a life-threatening situation wasn't an option for Pena. "I would say about two minutes in we are still not seeing any signs of life,” she said. “He wasn't puking up any water." She says Kaysen had no pulse.
"Most terrifying thing I've been through in my entire life,” Kaysen’s mother Amy Han told KWQC-TV 6. When paramedics arrived Kaysen took in one deep breath and then woke up.
“After the fact I was still worked up,” Pena said. “I remember bawling. My husband was giving me a hug. It's still emotional. It's just something you'll never forget."
Kaysen’s father Brock Simonson told KWQC-TV 6 "Just glad there was somebody there that knew what she was doing.”
Officer Pena gets CPR trained every year but had never done it firsthand in a real situation until now. Kaysen’s parents gave Officer Pena flowers, a Willow Tree figurine that looks like Kaysen and a card that reads, "Thank you is not nearly enough to say you saved more than my little boy you saved our hearts."
Kaysen’s parents took him to Iowa City where doctors confirmed he is in good health.
(Photo: KWQC-TV 6)