LEVELLAND, Texas (KCBD) - 18-month-old Nikolai almost drowned in Lobo Lake in Levelland on Wednesday. On Friday, the family got to meet and thank the city employees who saved his life.
It was like any other day for the Director of Parks and Cemetery in Levelland, Dustin Reichelt. Reichelt told KCBD he was with his team in the middle of Lobo Lake working on a project with his team when all of a sudden he heard a scream. “I just knew by the by the tone of the voice, what was going on.”
Reichelt can recall exactly what happened. “This was something I’ve never experienced.”
He says it was a race against time. He knew the little boy was on shore losing his life with every minute that passed, and he and a few of his team members were in the middle of the lake. “We dropped everything we had in our boat, and we paddled all the way we were right where the child was on shore, but we were in the dead center of the lake.”
He says he didn’t give up. He says he has a child of his own around the same age which made this situation personal. As they were making their way by boat, Reichelt called out to one of his team members on the shore and told him to run and start performing CPR.
“When I got to shore, I jumped out and I immediately started CPR and relieved him,” said Reichelt.
Reichelt said even when he took over, the little boy was still not responding, but Reichelt says something in his mind told him to not give up. “He was just unresponsive, lifeless. I just kept pumping, until finally I started seeing his eyes open and close. I knew we were getting somewhere.”
He didn’t stop until first responders arrived on scene and relieved him from his CPR and rushed the boy to the hospital, where he eventually recovered.
“That makes me feel a lot better, but it's still not easy. It's humbling, but I’m very thankful he's okay,” said Reichelt.
The little boy was released from the hospital in Levelland on Thursday.