A surveillance camera video released on Thursday, May 26, by Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical and Lawrence Police Department captured the suspense-filled moments of how a four-year-old boy from Kansas diagnosed with nonverbal autism was brought back to life from drowning.

The Lawrence Police Department said they released the video with the intent to create awareness of water safety ahead of the Memorial Day weekend. The announcement coincided with the awarding ceremonies for two local heroes-12-year-old Maddox Westerhaus and his father Tom-for saving the four-year-old Xavier Rigney.

Father & Son Honored As Heroes

According to the police, they responded with the Lawrence-Douglas County Medical to a drowning call on May 18 at a local apartment complex. Maddox noticed a toddler floating and unresponsive in the pool, which prompted him to immediately tell Tom about it.

Tom rushed to the pool area, which was locked, and had to jump over the fence to get in. He hauled Xavier from the pool and quickly administered life-saving aid. The paramedics arrived afterward to an already alert and breathing Xavier.

"This is an amazing outcome. Watch the surveillance video and see for yourself. Too often, this is not the way these calls end. Today, we recognized two local heroes. Way to go Maddox and Tom!" The Lawrence Police Department declared.

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The police department revealed in a succeeding post that the video prompted many questions from people on how to get trained in CPR. The police department said they are very pleased that sharing the story of Xavier has inspired people to learn how to save a life. They then shared references and resources where people can fulfill their search for CPR training.

Father & Son Saves Drowning Toddler

In the video, a diaper-clad toddler could be seen running toward an empty swimming pool before jumping in. The toddler tried to get out of the water by trying to grab onto something, but couldn't find one. By this time, some children have gathered by the pool's locked fence. One of them was Maddox, who felt something was wrong when he saw the toddler at the pool's deep end.

"My friends were yelling at me to go get help," Maddox told KMBC.

"I just went like 'oh no' and ran," he added through WIBW.

It didn't take long for the toddler's head to be submerged in the water after making little splashes. Then the toddler became unresponsive. Xavier was in the water for a total of 200 seconds before Tom came and pulled him out of the water. Oxygen deprivation has already settled in, turning Xavier blue.

Tom said his former experience as a lifeguard 15 years ago helped him recall what to do with the chest compressions. He said it just surfaced from the back of his mind. The former lifeguard said that he had to administer CPR for two minutes and 41 seconds before Xavier started breathing again. He shared that when the toddler started coughing up water, he knew it was a good sign. He just didn't realize he had to "keep going for so long."

Xavier's mother, Alexis, recounted how panicked she felt when she discovered her toddler was not in their apartment and heard sirens. Alexis said she attended to her four-month-old baby who was crying and didn't notice Xavier got out of their apartment while she was doing so. She said she followed the paramedics who rushed to the pool and saw Xavier being pulled out of the pool unmoving. She admitted not knowing his son was already okay at that time.

During the awarding ceremonies, Alexis thanked her neighbors Maddox and Tom for saving her son's life. She said she does not know what she would have done if Maddox had not seen Xavier in the pool. She also admitted that the experience taught her to understand her son's condition better, particularly his attraction to large bodies of water as all diagnosed with autism do.

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