12-yo Wellington Boy Saves Drowning Man, Credits CPR Learned from \’Stranger Things\’


A boy from Palm Beach County saved a man’s life from drowning and revealed that he learned CPR from watching the Netflix’ hit series, ‘Stranger Things.’

Austen MacMillan, 12, of Wellington was able to revive his behavioral therapist, Jason Piquette, after he partially drowned in the latter’s home pool during one of their sessions.

Jason said he had been working with Austen for a couple of years and part of the program is swimming to build confidence and strength. On that fateful day, they were timing how long they could hold their breath underwater.

It was definitely a really proud mom moment. He’s really brave and courageous. —Christina MacMillan, Austen’s mom

“One of the things that we do the most is swim,” he said. “He loves to swim, and it’s something that we have been doing the past couple of years is holding our breath challenges.”

During the first tries, both were able to hold their breath for about one to one and a half minutes. Jason told Austen that he would attempt a longer breath hold at two minutes but instructed the boy to tap his shoulder when he’s in for one minute and 40 seconds.

A surveillance camera by the pool showed Austen timing Jason and later realizing that something was wrong with his therapist.

“And I went underwater, and I was relaxed. I felt great, and that’s the last thing I remember. I’m pretty positive that I lost consciousness,” Jason told WPTV.

After one minute and 40 seconds passed, Austen noticed that Jason was still under water and not responding. “It was like six to five minutes he was under the water, and I was like, ‘That’s way too long. He cannot do that,'” he said.

Photo: Pexels

Austen quickly grabbed Jason and dragged him toward the shallow part of the pool. He screamed for help, but no one came from the house. Despite the stressful situation, he still had the presence of mind and performed CPR on Jason.

“I just saw it from a TV show—Stranger Things,” Austen said. “After I gave him CPR, he woke up a few minutes later.”

The therapist believes he lost consciousness within 30 seconds underwater but had no clue why.

Jason is nothing but proud of Austen. “When you did compressions, water came out of my lungs and blood,” he said. “Austen was under my care. I was responsible for him, but unfortunately, the roles reversed in that moment, and he stepped up and saved my life.”

Austen’s family is also proud of him. “It was definitely a really proud mom moment,” said Christina MacMillan, Austen’s mom. “He’s really brave and courageous,”

The MacMillan and Piquette families said they hope the incident reminds every family to teach children the importance and how to perform CPR and how to dial 911 in case of emergency.

Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce Dimaculangan
Joyce has more than 15 years experience writing news, industry articles and blogs for the private and public sectors. Most of her career was spent writing technical documentation for a software company in the Philippines. She earned a B.A. in Communication Arts with a concentration in writing from the University of the Philippines, Los Baños. During her leisure time, Joyce pursues her interest in reading fiction and playing with her dogs. She can be contacted at [email protected].

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