A 12-year-old Palm Beach County boy is being hailed a hero after he saved a man’s life with CPR he said he learned while watching “Stranger Things” on Netflix.
According to NBC6 affiliate WPTV, who first reported the story, Austen MacMillan saved the life of coming to the aid of behavioral therapist Jason Piquette.
“Every doctor, everyone, has said I should be dead,” Piquette said to WPTV. “I am so grateful to be alive, and so grateful that Austen stepped up and saved me.”
According to Piquette, before the incident he had been working with MacMillan for a couple of years, swimming, building confidence and strength.
“One of the things that we do the most is swim,” Piquette told WPTV. “He loves to swim, and it’s something that we have been doing the past couple of years is holding our breath challenges.”
More than a week ago, MacMillan and Piquette were in the pool timing how long they could hold their breath when after a while, Piquette started slowly drifting to the deep end of the pool.
A camera at the house captured the startling moment while MacMillan was timing him.
“And I went underwater, and I was relaxed. I felt great, and that’s the last thing I remember. I’m pretty positive that I lost consciousness,” Piquette told WPTV. “My lungs started to fill up with water, and I went from the shallow end at the bottom of the pool because I let all of the air out of my lungs. I went to the bottom of the pool and sank. And then I started to raise up a little bit, and I started to drift to the deep end.”
A minute and 40 seconds later, MacMillan said Piquette was not responding. The boy knew something was wrong and pulled him to the shallow side of the pool.
He then went into rescue mode and started doing CPR.
“When you did compressions, water came out of my lungs and blood,” Piquette said. “Austen was under my care. I was responsible for him, but unfortunately, the roles reversed in that moment, and he stepped up and saved my life.”
MacMillan’s family is very proud of him. His mother, Christian MacMillan, described him to WPTV as “really brave and courageous.”