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Boy, 11, pulls grandmother from water, saves her with CPR

The Kan. boy pulled his grandmother to shore after she fell into the water while fishing, and began chest compressions

By Tim Unruh
The Salina Journal

SALINA, Kan. — Family members heaped praise on Collin Creach in the aftermath of an accident at Brown’s Park on Tuesday night in which his grandmother, Linda Reynolds, of Abilene, was injured.

Jason Creach, of Salina, who is Reynolds’ son and Collin’s uncle, said Reynolds was in good condition Wednesday in the intensive care unit at Salina Regional Health Center.

Collin, 11, of Pomona, said he performed CPR on his grandma and facilitated her rescue from a rocky spot near the water at Brown’s Park in Abilene. Family members said Collin kept his cool.

“I’m really proud of him,” Jason Creach said. “His mom is a physical therapist, and he learned a lot of what to do watching survivor shows.”

Collin was fishing with his grandma Tuesday at Brown’s Park, a popular summer spot about 3 miles south of Abilene.

“My line had gotten hooked while I was reeling in a fish. My grandma was trying to get it loose,” Collin recalled. “There was a rock and she tripped over it. She fell face first in the water.”

Collin jumped into the water next to an area known as “the waterfall” and pulled her to shore. He later did chest compressions “to get the water out” of her lungs, he said.

“I got her out of the water and kept her alive,” Collin said.

Water sucked into lungs

Jason Creach said his mother developed pneumonia-like symptoms.

“She sucked a bunch of water into her lungs when she went in the water,” Jason said.

Reynolds was unconscious for 30 to 40 seconds, Collin said. He screamed for his stepgrandfather, Joe Reynolds, who was physically unable to climb down steep, jagged rocks — or rip-rap — to his wife and Collin.

“He tossed down a rope to me. I tied it around (Grandma) a few times,” Collin said.

A teenage boy, whom Collin doesn’t know, offered to help. The boy stayed with Linda Reynolds, and Collin climbed up the rocks and reached a phone, where he called 911.

Chancy Smith, the Dickinson County Emergency Management director, said he heard the emergency call on his radio at 6:40 p.m.

Grandma recuperating

EMS and fire rescue personnel arrived at the park and were able to get Reynolds off the rocks. An ambulance took her to Memorial Hospital in Abilene. She later was transferred to the Salina hospital.

Collin said his grandma suffered a broken eye socket, and several stitches were needed to close wounds on her face.

“We got to the ER (emergency department) and talked to her a little bit,” Collin said.

He returned to the hospital Wednesday morning, where Reynolds was dining on cherry gelatin, chicken broth, apple juice and tea.

Collin is the son of Jarred and Raina Creach. He will be in the sixth grade this fall at Pomona.


©2015 The Salina Journal (Salina, Kan.)