Sunny Side of The Stream: Teen Girl Saves 3-Year-Old on Thanksgiving With CPR

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on December 9, 2023

It was Thanksgiving Day 2023. Relatives were preparing a meal, thinking 3-year-old Maxine was playing inside with the rest of the kids. But security camera footage shows her outside, walking to the pool, and then apparently jumping in and thrashing in the water. Her uncle ran outside a few minutes later, finding her face-down in the pool.

The relatives gathered around the girl. Someone performed the Heimlich maneuver. Thankfully one relative there knew CPR. Fifteen-year-old Madison, a high school sophomore who studies sports medicine, knew that since Maxine wasn’t breathing, she didn’t need the Heimlich, but rather immediate CPR.

Madison told her family that she knew CPR and they calmed down. They laid Maxine down on the ground. Madison performed CPR, and Maxine revived.

“I’m literally watching a 15-year-old girl basically bring back our niece, a 3-year-old, to life,” Madison’s step father Damian Gilbert told ABC7. “It was something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”

Watch the incredible story here:

Christians Ought to Know CPR

Madison’s story is an inspiration and a reminder of the life-saving significance of CPR training. I’m reminded of something David Watson, author of Contagious Disciple Making said in an online course on disciple making. The man has planted churches all over the world. As I recall, he said Christians ought to know CPR.

After all, we’re called to love and serve others. Why not know CPR?

I’ve taken a CPR class more than once, but it’s been a while. I figured YouTube could help refresh my memory, and indeed, there are plenty of videos to choose from. Here’s one helpful video from the channel of a registered nurse who runs a training academy:

The course instructor doesn’t mention this fun fact in this video, but I remember learning that the song “Staying Alive” can be useful for performing CPR. If you do chest compressions to the beat of “Staying Alive,” you’ll be doing them at the proper speed. You don’t need to know all the lyrics โ€” just the memorable part will do: “Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.”

How are your CPR skills? I urge you to get certified or watch a refresher video like the one above if you’re already certified. Getting certified is recommended. One safety training website notes, “resuscitating someone without prior training can land you in trouble if it worsens a patientโ€™s condition.” Every U.S. state has a Good Samaritan law to legally protect people who give aid and the details of these laws vary from state to state.


Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on X @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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