11-year-old girl saves friend's life at birthday party

RIO LINDA - The 6th grade classes at Orchard Elementary in Rio Linda were a little different Thursday, because 11-year-old Skylar Berry is adamant that everyone should know CPR.

Her teachers let Skylar huddle dozens of students outside to teach them hands-only or sidewalk CPR. Her classmates learned simple chest compressions to the beat of disco hit "Stayin' Alive."

"(Choking) can happen any second or any time, somebody can be choking on food or drowning in a pool," Skylar said.

But, why is such a young girl so focused with CPR? Because just four days ago she used it to save a friend's life.

At a birthday party in Antelope, a group was playing in the pool when they realized one of their friends was at the bottom.

"He was gone, right in front of our eyes," Sklyar said. "We lost a friend and I was just thinking, 'there's only one more chance, we could try it.'"

It was CPR. Skylar checked his pulse and knew it was the only hope.

"I thought he wasn't going to make it," said David Baltzley, who was celebrating his 12th birthday. "I thought there was going to be a death.

"(But) it was pretty cool," he added. "I've never seen an 11 year old do CPR on another kid. It was so relieving."

Relieving because that friend is just fine. The boy is a little overwhelmed and doesn't want any attention, but he was back in school two days later.

"I just started crying, I was so proud. I couldn't believe it," Skylar's mom Marrissa Berry said.

"I asked, 'How did you know to do that?' She said, 'Mom, Fire Camp, duh.'"

Fire Camp is a summer camp put on by the Sacramento Metro Fire Department. It teaches kids fire safety, water safety, CPR and more.

Skylar learned CPR right before school started. Now, she'll spend whatever free time she has this school year teaching others to save lives.

"We want to teach other kids that real life situations are no joke," Skylar said. "It's no time to mess around."


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