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Family of boy, 3, thanks first responders for saving son's life after near-drowning

3-year-old Caylx Harnowski thanks first responders from Ashwaubenon Public Safety for saving his life after nearly drowning. July 10th, 2018. (WLUK/Amber Luckett)

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (WLUK) -- The family of 3-year-old Caylx Harnowski thanked first responders on Tuesday from the Ashwaubenon Department of Public Safety for saving his life after what they describe as a very scary situation.

Caylx nearly drowned at a pool party on July 1. His parents believe he was underwater for almost a minute before being pulled to safety. Caylx's father, Josh, said he spent three days in intensive care following the incident.

But with the fast response of those who helped, his son was able to make a full recovery.

"We were all standing around the pool. It could happen that quick. It just gives you a different outlook on life and what really matters," said Harnowski.

Wade Wudtke from the Ashwaubenon Department of Public Safety was one of the first officers to arrive on scene after the incident.

"We had two paramedics on board and De Pere came over to assist us with their paramedics also. Everyone just fell in line and did what we were suppose to do to give Caylx the best opportunity to survive," said Wudtke. "On our way to the hospital we ended up getting some heart rhythm which is a good sign. He started to take some deep breaths but not breaths that were sustainable for life yet, but we still continued to assist him with ventilation and stuff."

Wudtke said the moments after the incident were also emotional as they waited for Caylx to get better.

"Again it definitely puts a lump in my throat and you can't help but put your own children in that situation and that I think is what drives us. We want to put these children back on the playground, back with mom and dad and in their arms where they're supposed to be," said Wudtke.

Caylx and his family said the great job first responders did is something they will never forget and for which they will always be thankful.

"I mean we thank everybody, but what they did, it's never going to be enough. What they did is just irreplaceable," said Harnowski.

First responders are also using this incident to remind people about the importance of knowing CPR. Click here for a full list of classes in the area.

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