When Jennifer Propis took the Red Cross cardio-pulmonary resuscitation training offered at HUD's Buffalo Field Office a few years back, she understood that it was a valuable skill to know, but never thought she'd be called upon to use it. Even as a teenage lifeguard, Jennifer never had occasion to save a life.
Two thumbs up to Jennifer Propis whose Department-sponsored cardio-pulmonary resuscitation training saved the life of a little boy on a recent August afternoon.
All that changed on a sunny August afternoon this year when Jennifer, a paralegal in the Buffalo HUD office, accepted an invitation to relax beside a neighbor's backyard pool. Jennifer and her children were enjoying a hot summer day when the neighbor's screams punctuated the afternoon.
Three-year-old Hayden Kuzma tried to retrieve a ball floating on the water and had fallen undetected into the pool. When the mother saw the boy, he was floating face down in the water. When Hayden was pulled from the water, hysteria gripped grief-stricken women looking down at the boy.
Hayden Kuzma nearly drowned last month when he tried to retrieve a ball floating in backyard swimming pool and fell undetected into the water.
Armed with her CPR training, Jennifer took action. She started administering resuscitation to the boy, gently at first, but with more urgency when she got no response. Thankfully, however, Hayden was soon spitting and coughing up water from his lungs as he started to breath. He was stabilized by rescue workers summoned by a 911 call and transported to Buffalo Women's and Children's Hospital where he made a full recovery.
The Department offers a wide range of training as one way to invest in people - both in their role as employees while on the job and as citizens in their communities. And while the CPR training was an important investment that HUD made in one field office employee, it's an investment that paid off even more for a little boy and his family from suburban Buffalo.