Tristin Saghin puts his 9-year-old heart into everything he does.
The third-grader, who lives in Las Vegas and is visiting his grandmother in east Mesa for Easter, loves to play basketball and video games and watch war movies.
It’s because of what he learned in a film he watches about three days a week, “Black Hawk Down,” that he was able to revive his 2-year-old sister, Brooke, who was discovered floating in their grandmother’s pool last Sunday.
An aspiring Army medic, Tristin also has a plastic skeleton — “Bones” — he often practices CPR on, his father, Chris, said.
Tristin’s quick actions earned him the distinction of being the Mesa Fire Department’s first honorary paramedic at Mesa Fire Station No. 209 on Friday. He also was awarded a certificate of bravery from the Arizona Army National Guard. Mesa Fire Chief Harry Beck said Tristin was the “perfect example of a brother, a son and a lifesaver” who was brave to step up.
After Saghin’s mother pulled Brooke out of the pool, Tristin ran back inside the house to tell his grandmother to call 911 then ran back outside and performed CPR on his sister. Tristin’s actions were pivotal in saving his sister’s life before emergency crews arrived on the scene.
“I’m not really a hero,” Tristin said at the fire station where Brooke gave him a hug and followed her big brother around while wearing a small red fire helmet. “At first, I heard screaming, and didn’t know what was going on. After I saw my mom holding Brooke, I ran inside and told my grandma to call 911. Then, I said ‘I need to do CPR.’ “I learned it from watching the movie ‘Black Hawk Down’ and so I did three pumps on her chest and then did a life breath.”
He said he repeated the process three times. The third proved to be the charm. “She started to scream and she spit up water,” Tristin said.
There were at least four drowning calls throughout the Valley last weekend, including the death of a 3-year-old girl in Mesa on Saturday, but the drowning call that came in shortly after 9 a.m. involving Brooke Saghin was the only one with a happy ending. The incident brought the need for water safety into the spotlight as the weather warms up and the swimming season kicks in, as well as the need for people to learn CPR.
Suzanna Saghin, said everything happened so fast.
Tristin Saghin was playing a video game as his mother was folding sheets. His grandmother was taking a shower.
Brooke was outside and had fallen into the pool. It isn’t known how long she was there.
His father had gone back home to Las Vegas, but immediately flew back to Arizona when he learned of the incident.
Brooke, who was admitted to the intensive care unit at Banner Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa, was released Wednesday. Dr. Joseph Winchell from Banner Cardon Children’s Medical Center said Brooke suffered slight damage to her liver, but thanks to the quick actions of Tristin there was no brain damage.
Like any little boy, Tristin described his little sister as “funny, painful and annoying.” Chris Saghin described Tristin as mature and said he reacted the right way instead of panicking.
“This could’ve happened to anybody,” he said. “We explained to Tristin what he did was a magnificent thing. We’re proud of him.”
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