Kelly McKnight was on the opposite side of Teeple Beach in White Lake Township when she heard somebody shouting for the help of someone who knew how to do CPR.
“I knew CPR, so I just took off running,” said McKnight, a Walled Lake resident.
The June 20 cry for help came from two women — Nicole Aquilina and Angel Brant — who had just pulled a little girl out of the water at the Teeple Lake Beach in the Highland Recreation Area. Jamieson Prine,12, first alerted the two women after he saw the child floating in the water.
“They had pulled her out,” McKnight said. “She was blue. They had started giving her a couple of chest compressions, and she was spitting up water when I got there. I then checked her vitals, and she continued vomiting water. We wrapped her in some towels to ward off shock and called 911.”
The White Lake Township Fire Department was then called to beach. The 2-year-old girl was then taken to DMC Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital.
“I stayed with her while they were loading her in the ambulance,” McKnight said. “Her vitals were good. She was back at 100 percent oxygen, and she was pinkening up.”
The little girl’s mom arrived to the scene as the ambulance was getting ready to leave, according to McKnight, who said the girl had been at the beach with people other than her parents.
The little girl was later released from the hospital.
For the four civilians’ efforts that helped save the young girl’s life, the Fire Department recently honored them with a framed Exceptional Civilian Service Award at a White Lake Township Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, July 17.
“Everybody involved just did their best, and we had a happy ending,” McKnight said. “It could’ve been worse.”
She added that even though people told her she was hero, she didn’t view it that way.
“It’s just what you do. You help people,” she said.
And while she said it wasn’t necessary to honor her, McKnight said she was very honored and glad to be able to set an example for her own 5-year-old daughter.
“I’m happy to get to show her that you get rewarded for helping people,” she said.