Nogales teen reunites with police officer who saved his life

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 9:52 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A teen was brought back to life thanks to the quick actions of a Nogales police officer.

On Sunday, 14-year-old Christian Andres Lopez Gomez and his family were able to thank the officer who saved his life.

“I was sinking in the water and I remember it getting deeper and it getting darker and then I just fell into like a dream,” Gomez said. “There was like a second it felt like my spirit was leaving my body.”

He is talking about the moment he started to drown in the pool at the Americana hotel. He was playing with his younger sister when he got a cramp in his leg. The situation turned from bad to worse fast when he realized he couldn’t get himself out of the water and he started sinking to the deep end of the pool. His family came running and pulled him out, but he was already unconscious and not breathing.

“To see him so vulnerable there and I couldn’t do anything about it, it was just very, very bad for me. I remember that I was shaking and screaming and I just couldn’t do anything,” said his mother, Laura Lopez.

His father started CPR on him until Officer Fernando Hernandez arrived and took control of the situation.

“When I first saw him, he was pale and his lips were purple,” Hernandez said. “I was looking at him in his eyes and I just thought to myself ‘you’re not going to die, not today, not on me.’”

After about a minute of CPR, Hernandez saw Gomez’s eyes open. He was then transported to the hospital for recovery.

“It gave me a new perspective on life, because beforehand I was like, I don’t have a purpose,” Gomez said. “I’m just going through teenage struggles and then when this happened it really boosted my self-esteem like I have a purpose because I was brought back.”

Even though the drowning happened earlier this month, Christian isn’t fully recovered and doctors are continuing to check for water in his lungs. His mother said there was a 73% chance he wouldn’t make it or fully recover.

“I’m so thankful that he’s here, that he actually survived this whole incident,” she said. “Now we have a new perspective on life after this incident. We’re more thankful for everything. We spend more family time together.”

Gomez’s mother said because of what happened to her son, she encourages all parents to get CPR training and to always supervise their kids in the pool, no matter how old they are.

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