A Colorado man was in the right place at the right time and a 3-year-old girl is alive because of it.
32-year-old Angelo Mondragon was spending the day with family and friends at Windsor Lake when he suddenly felt something soft touch his leg.
“It felt like something you normally wouldn’t feel in the water,” Mondragon told the Coloradoan. “I did sort of a back kick to bring up whatever it was, and then I saw the bottom of a baby’s foot float up.”
That was the foot of 3-year-old Sitali Hernandez. Angelo quickly pulled her from the water and began screaming for help.
“I grabbed her and carried her limp body to the shore,” Mondragon said. “The girl was already blue. She wasn’t breathing.”
With the help of two off-duty nurses, the plumber from Fort Collins administered CPR until EMS arrived. The little girl was rushed to Medical Center of the Rockies and then transferred to Children’s Hospital in Aurora.
On Monday, Angelo had the chance to visit Sitali and receive her mother’s thanks for rescuing the little girl.
“If I was not in that right spot at the right time, it could have been a search and rescue mission,” Mondragon said. “As I told the little girl’s mom, when I saw the baby’s toes that became my baby.”
The incident has driven Mondragon to start working with local businesses and residents to collect life vests for those who don’t have them or simply can’t afford them.
Doctors say Sitali will make a full recovery.