Lathrop teen dubbed 'hero' using CPR to save boy's life

Valerie, 15, saved an 11-year-old boy's life using CPR after only becoming certified just two weeks before the incident. (Sep. 20, 2017)

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to give someone CPR after only being certified for two weeks, well that's what one Lathrop teenager had to do.

Valerie Villanueva, 15, did something most of us hope we'll never have to do.

"Yeah, I feel like without my help, He probably wouldn't have [survived]. Well, we don't know what wouldn't have happened," said Villanueva.

On Saturday, Sep. 16, evening there was a birthday party at a home in Manteca. When about 50 guests sang happy birthday, suddenly an 11-year-old boy was nowhere to be found.

He was then spotted moments later at the bottom of the pool. Valerie’s uncle dived in and grabbed him.

As guests panicked, she said calmly jumped into action. Just two weeks earlier, Valerie had become CPR certified thanks to a class taught at Lathrop High School.

"It took me 90 compressions, but I brought him back. I didn't have to do any mouth-to-mouth and that was really fortunate," she said. "Immediately he coughed out water and blood, but it was really scary at the time."

Health Careers teacher James Ward, a former Marine Corp Medic and Paramedic taught Valerie the lifesaving techniques.

"I was floored. I got a call Saturday night and somebody described the situation to me and it basically made my year," said Ward.

Gerardo Galvez who was also at the party witnessed Valerie's life-saving heroics.

"I was like, Valerie saved a life. She's a big hero," said Galvez.

The mother of the 11-year-old boy did not want her son's name released, but she is very grateful for Valerie.

"At the time I didn't, I didn't feel feel like I needed to panic. I felt like his safety was before my feelings," said Villanueva.

 The boy is said to be doing fine after the incident.

For a job well done, Valerie got to take a selfie with firefighters and a lifelong memory that she gave someone back the gift of life. 

Lessons learned: take a course in CPR and watch your children always around water.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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