CPR Saves Drowning Child

The weekend before graduation, a high school student used skills from his senior project to help save a 3-year-old girl on the west end.

At 8:50 p.m. on May 22, according to Maui County Fire Services Officer Edward Taomoto, emergency responders received a call that a toddler was drowning in the jacuzzi at Ke Nani Kai.

Molokai High School senior Luke Kikukawa, a certified CPR instructor, was in the parking lot of the condominium complex at the time when a friend came to alert him of the situation. Kikukawa ran to help the child’s father, who was performing CPR on the girl.

“I assisted him with compressions while he gave her breaths,” said Kikukawa. “Eventually she started coughing and wheezing and she started spitting out water.”

Taomoto said that emergency responders en route “were updated by dispatch that the father resuscitated the patient.” Firefighters arriving on the scene provided the child with oxygen.

“The child was taken to Molokai General Hospital, stabilized and flown out to Honolulu,” said Taomoto.

Neither the girl nor her father could be named by officials.

For Kikukawa, who became a CPR instructor last November, the incident supported the goal of his senior project, in which he is teaching peers and community members the importance of knowing CPR. He recently taught a class to nine peers and has plans to teach a group of adult employees this summer.

“My senior project is … just training people and raising awareness in the community,” said Kikukawa. “It’s a good skill to have because these things happen all the time, especially on our island.”

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