Palm Bay honors boy who saved drowning girl

Romeo Rodriguez, 6, jumped into pool to save friend

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

PALM BAY, Fla. - City leaders honored a 6-year-old boy Thursday night for saving a little girl who he found at the bottom of his backyard swimming pool.

Palm Bay police said Romeo Rodriguez was celebrating Memorial Day with friends and family when he noticed his 8-year-old friend, Cathy, on the bottom of the pool.

"Romeo jumped in the pool," said his grandmother, Gail Sissenwein. "She was laying on the bottom of the pool and pulled her up to the top to where (our friend) could grab them. I'm very proud."

Another friend who attended the party was a nurse who immediately started performing CPR on the child, while Sissenwein called 911.

Officer Amy Revis arrived with a defibrillator, which she used to shock Cathy's heart into pumping again.

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The little girl was eventually flown to Arnold Palmer Hospital in Orlando, where she has received a clean bill of health from doctors.

Palm Bay Mayor William Capote and the city's fire and police chief all awarded Romeo with special recognition at Thursday's city council meeting for his heroic acts. The audience rose to their feet as they applauded him.

Cathy sat next to him during the ceremony.

"She's a living miracle," said Sissenwein. "She's proof there is a higher power and He or She was with us that day."

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