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drowning; pool; surveillance video
Photo by Lavi Perchik on Unsplash

Neighbor saves boy drowning in pool.

Most people don’t wake up and wonder how they can become a hero that day. In most instances, it’s about being in the right place at the right time and acting on instinct. That’s what happened when Kansas resident Tom Westerhaus was alerted by his 12-year-old daughter, Maddox, that their neighbor’s preschooler had fallen into the pool. The dad, who had been trained as a lifeguard in his youth, went directly to his training, even though it had been years since he took the required classes. He dived in and was able to pull the 4-year-old out of the pool and immediately begin chest compressions. The child had been submerged for more than three minutes.


The boy's mother, Alexis Rigney, was living many parents' worst nightmare. The mom-of-two said she was taking care of her 4-month-old when she noticed her door was open and her older child was missing. Rigney reported that her son, Xzavier, has autism and when she ran outside to locate him, she heard sirens. Thanks to her neighbor's heroic instinct, her child began breathing on his own after more than two minutes of chest compressions.

Paramedics arrived shortly after the boy began coughing up water and confirmed that if Westerhaus hadn't jumped in when he did, Xzavier probably wouldn't have survived. The father-daughter duo received Hometown Hero awards from Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical for their quick thinking and lifesaving actions. The first responders said that drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children and drowning doesn’t always look the way people think.

Thank goodness Maddox recognized something was wrong and alerted her father. Hopefully the pair went out for ice cream to celebrate their new hero status. Surely Xzavier’s mom is storing up on snuggles with her little guy and undoubtedly grateful for her neighbor’s quick acting.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


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Making a priceless memory

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