Strangers Spring Into Action, Save Boy’s Life

Joshua was found at the bottom of the pool, hunched over

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Kiki Suárez

A group of strangers met each other for the first time Thursday after a sudden and unexpected moment of terror.

A six-year-old boy was rushed to Children's Hospital Sunday after being found at the bottom of his Linda Vista apartment complex swimming pool.

“The scariest thing I've ever seen, I had a dead boy in my arms," neighbor Tasha Small said.

Joshua, 6, was full of life Thursday -- a far cry from the scene on Sunday when he arrived at Children’s Hospital on a gurney. It all started at 8:30 a.m. when he snuck out, climbed a section of fence and went for a swim.

"He was at the bottom, like hunched over," Small said.

She was awake unusually early and didn't think twice about what she had to do.

“I jumped in with all my stuff. He was heavy and I'm barely five feet, so I can’t stand in five feet, so I'm like jumping and swimming, trying to get to the side," Small said.

Two men she’d never met quickly answered her cries for help. One of them, Billy Fincher, called 911. Another neighbor ran down from the 2nd floor, scaled the wall and immediately started CPR.  His last class was four years ago.

"I noticed my hands were shaking a little bit. I said this can’t be happening now, it just happened so fast," Manny Alvarez said. "And he’s still not moving, not responsive, to me it looked like he was turning color, and then all of a sudden he takes a deep breath, a gasp."

A gasp that Joshua's parents said was a gift from God and three angels called neighbors.

"I just think everybody did what anybody would do in that situation," Fincher said.

Doctors told Joshua's parents he was probably under water for less than a minute, but that his lungs were filled with water. You wouldn't believe it looking at him today.

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