Kianti Champion, a 19-year-old who recently received EMT training, is receiving praise for attempting rescuing Amiyah Walker, 5, who was drowning at a Lake Michigan beach.
“We were all at the beach enjoying our day and it just turned out bad,” Champion told ABC affiliate WLS. “It was kind of saddening because her mom was just at her feet the whole time crying.”
Champion and her family were about to leave the beach just before 9 p.m. on Tuesday (June 25) when Champion heard the child’s mother screaming. “So I’m like, we got to go and help,” she said. “So I ran over, just dropped everything and ran over, and I started compressions and I kept doing compressions until help came.”
Amiyah was reportedly taken to Comer Children’s Hospital in grave condition. She ended up passing away on Friday, according to a statement given by the Chicago Police Department to PEOPLE.
The news of the passing makes the situation tragically grim, however, Champion is still being praised for her heroic effort. Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton honored the teenager with proclamation establishing Kianti Champion Day. She’s also praising a community organization called Black Fire Brigade that Kianti belongs to.
Remember 19 yr old Kianti Champion who dropped everything to perform CPR to save a 5 yr old drowning victim?— Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton (@LtGovStratton) June 29, 2019
Well, on the 1st Anniversary of the @blackfirebrigad I presented her with a proclamation declaring Kianti Champion Day in Illinois! Way to go, Kianti! #LGontheMove pic.twitter.com/zNbU8OLm8L
“Black Fire Brigade started a year ago to train kids for careers as paramedics and firefighters,” Lt. Quention Curtis, president of the Black Fire Brigade, told Fox affiliate WFLD. “One of the reasons we started this, the Black Fire Brigade, is to reduce the violence in the community. So our motto is: If you teach a kid to save a life, they’ll be less likely to take a life.”
Champion’s actions are also highlighting the importance of safety measures families should exercise when being around water over the summer. Hopefully, the awareness can help save the life of another child.
Our thoughts are with Amiyah Walker’s family during this difficult time.
Photo: Stephanie Hager - HagerPhoto