A teenager saved a young boy from drowning in an Omaha pool last summer. On Wednesday, he’ll be honored by the American Red Cross as a hero.
Vyzion Gonzales was the last person in the pool, but he was the first to notice something wasn’t right.
Gonzales said, “I was swimming under the water and then while I was kicking my feet, I hit something. So, I turned around and it was a person, at the bottom of the pool.”
At first, Gonzales said he thought it was a joke, but it only took him a few seconds to realize it wasn’t.
“And I lift him up,” said Gonzales. “I looked at him and tried to call his name and he wouldn't respond.”
Gonzales lifted the lifeless five-year-old Tino Ramirez-Contreras out of the water and took him to a teacher. Lifeguards, police, and paramedics took over from there and were able to save Tino’s life.
Vyzion’s mother, Tinisha Portier, is one of many who called him a hero that day. She said, “I was very, very nervous. I couldn't go into my meeting. I was like, ‘What is this? Where's the police? What's going on?’ And that's when he handed the phone over to the police officer and he said, 'Ma'am, you really need to thank your son, because he saved a kid's life.’"
Portier said Tino’s mother is beyond grateful; she calls Vyzion Tino’s guardian angel. But the teen isn’t looking for praise. He said, “I was just doing what I thought was right.”
Vyzion and Tino still see each other on a regular basis. In fact, Vyzion was on hand for Tino’s sixth birthday party earlier this year.
On Wednesday, Vyzion will be awarded the Good Samaritan Award at the American Red Cross’ Heroes in the Heartland banquet, which WOWT is proud to sponsor.