FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Adults didn’t see a drowning 5-year-old, but his 6-year-old friend did.
Haden Stusak, 6, of Fayetteville is being called a hero after he dived into a pool to investigate a shadow on the bottom that turned out to be his friend.
Josiah Buddah, 5, and Haden are buddies. Haden is a good swimmer, but Josiah can’t swim without his water wings.
On Sunday, Josiah took off his water wings and sank to the bottom of the deep end.
“I was scared, I was scared,” said Josiah.
An adult spotted a shadow in the pool, but couldn’t get to it. No one knew the shadow was Josiah. But Haden got curious and dove down to investigate. He had been practicing diving to the bottom. When he discovered Josiah, he grabbed him and pulled him to the surface.
“Well, I grabbed him like that; he was like unconscious. I grabbed him and I was swimming like this,” said Haden.
“He jumped inside the water; he helped me get back up,” said Josiah.
Two nurses and doctor started CPR.
“They took me to the hospital,” said Josiah. “I was dead and couldn’t breathe.”
It all happened in seconds.
“I could have been burying my baby this week, so just to know that he’s here, No. 1, is amazing, because to see your child lifeless for a few minutes, you think it’s over,” said Josiah’s mother, Judith Buddha.
“So I called ‘Help, help, he drowned,'” said Haden.
Haden’s parents told Channel 2 they ask him not to talk so loudly and to keep his voice down. This is one time they’re glad they heard his screams.
Josiah is doing well and is now swimming with a float suit. He will start lessons in a couple of weeks.
And in true hero fashion, Haden says what he did was no big deal.
“We’re friends. That’s what friends do,” said Haden.