DENVER - Three men will be honored next week for saving the lives of two 5-year-old boys at Cherry Creek State Park. The men don't consider themselves heroes; they just want people to know the importance of learning CPR.
Daniel Bertram, Troy Steadman and Rich Mandeville were at the beach at Cherry Creek Reservoir on Sept. 7 when they noticed two women yelling.
"They were pointing, and I guess something was wrong," Mandeville said.
"There was panic in this woman's voice, and she was screaming 'Help me! Help me!'" Bertram added.
The two boys were submerged in the reservoir. Their bodies floated, lifeless.
"At that point, I came across the two boys that were floating, face down in the water. Right then, I thought I had to make a split-second decision on which one I was going to pick up," Bertram explained.
"I remember looking at his face and seeing panic and exhaustion," Steadman said.
"Then Troy, from behind, said 'Pick them up both! Get them both,'" Bertram added.
"When I looked in the distance, I saw a commotion, and then I saw Daniel running out of the water with two boys," Mandeville said.
The boys weren't moving. The only person chugging along was Bertram.
"So I laid them both down, and luckily, that's when Rich ran up," Bertram said.
"I didn't know what was going through my head at that point. I didn't know if it's 'these kids are gone' or 'these kids are going to make it,'" Mandeville said.
"I think every thought just went away at that point, and I just focused in on the moment," Steadman added.
At that moment, Mandeville and Steadman used their CPR training and tried pumping life back in to the boys.
"All of a sudden his eyes just opened. He looked at me with this quizzical little look, and he started whining a little bit," Mandeville said.
Technically dead, Ibrahim was brought back to life first, followed by Asumi.
"I was super happy just to be part of a miracle. I don't think that really set in until much later," Steadman said.
Steadman and Bertram had never met Mandeville until that day. The day they helped save two boys.
"I'm blessed to know these two, and I want to know them for the rest of my life," Mandeville said.
However, this isn't a story about heroes. It's about the importance of knowing CPR and how it can change lives and bring lives together, by saving them.
The American Heart Association will hold a course in CPR training on Saturday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. 2 p.m. at East High School in Denver. For more information: www.heart.org/easthighschool
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