WELLINGTON, Fla. — A 12-year-old boy who is being credited with saving the life of his behavioral therapist said he learned the lifesaving technique he used by watching “Stranger Things.”
Austen MacMillan, 12, was at a Palm Beach County pool earlier this month working with his therapist, Jason Piquette, WPTV reported.
The pair frequent the pool to work on swimming, building confidence and building strength.
Part of their swim outings often include challenging each other to hold their breath underwater.
“We both held our breath like for a minute, a minute and a half,” Piquette told WPTV. “And I said, ‘OK, I am going to do it one more time and like try to get to two and a half minutes.’ And I said to him, ‘Just tap on me when I’m about a minute 40.’”
But Piquette floated to the deep end of the pool, losing consciousness and his lungs filling with water.
About five minutes later, Austen realized something was wrong and pulled Piquette to the shallow end, USA Today reported.
Austen had tried finding help at two neighbors’ houses and even tried calling 911 on Piquette’s phone, but couldn’t get it unlocked because the screen was broken.
So the pre-teen started doing CPR, mimicking what he saw on “Stranger Things” when Winona Ryder’s Joyce and David Harbour’s Hopper did chest compressions on Will, played by Noah Schnapp, according to USA Today.
“I was doing the compressions, but I wasn’t doing the breathing. You woke up a few minutes later,” Austen told Piquette, according to WPTV.
Shortly after starting, Piquette woke up and threw up water and blood, USA Today reported.
Austen’s father returned home after Piquette was revived, and called 911. Piquette was taken to an area hospital’s intensive care unit and put on 100% oxygen for a night.
“Every doctor, everyone, has said I should be dead,” Piquette told WPTV. “I am so grateful to be alive, and so grateful that Austen stepped up and saved me.”