A North Texas family is forever grateful for three nurses who saved their son after a near drowning.
Jessica Villarreal, calls it fate that brought her – and her family of caregivers – to Mansfield that Saturday afternoon.
“I was supposed to work that day, but I switched with a co-worker,” said Villarreal, a mother/baby nurse at Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital.
Villarreal had just finished running errands with her mother, Maria Saenz, a lactation consultant at Texas Health Arlington Memorial, and sister Lauren Abney.
“We were outside my parents’ house, about to leave,” Villarreal said. “I had just buckled my son into his car seat and that’s when we heard screaming.”
Villarreal told her sister to call 911 and ran across the street to the neighbor’s house. When she got to the backyard, she saw the homeowner carrying Grayson out of the pool with his grandparents standing nearby. Grayson was not breathing, and he had no pulse. His lips were blue, she added.
“I did chest compressions for at least five minutes,” she said. “The three of us were like a team. My mom was telling me, ‘Good job, keep going!’ My sister told me to keep my arms straight. They were my two cheerleaders who kept me going.”
After nearly six minutes, Grayson took a breath. EMS transported him to Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.
Jessica said tearfully, in the moment, she could only think of one thing,"I can't give up. I wanted to give him back to his family."
And she did.
Later, Grayson's mom called Jessica to ask what she could ever do to repay her.
"I said, 'There's nothing you can give me. I did what I was supposed to do. All I asked of her was to bring Grayson to me. I didn't want the memory of how I saw him to stick with me. I wanted to meet him the way he is, laughing and smiling," she said.
Grayson is doing fine and the families are now friends.
We're proud to call Jessica Villarreal this week's KRLD Difference Maker.
If you know someone making difference in the community, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.