WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 08, 2010, 09:24 AM

Fargo man and his grandmother are credited with rescuing a Gwinner girl from drowning

(WDAY TV) - A metro area family is being hailed a hero after pulling Jade to shore and performing C-P-R on her until help arrived. Two of the rescuers, a grandson and grandmother, frantically searched for the child before saving her life. Call it fate.

By: Travis Skonseng, WDAY

“It's just unreal. It's crazy. I never thought I'd be a hero.”

24 hours after saving Jade Curtis Dean's life, rescuer Stephen Huotari is still in shock.

“Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought that would happen.”

The 20-year old Fargo man and his family were heading home, when they took a wrong turn. It led them to Mooreton Pond.

“We weren't there two minutes and the little girl went missing.”

Huotari, his grandma, and others searched the streets, trees, weeds, all to no avail.

“I had a feeling something bad probably happened.”

Huotari walked in the murky water of Mooreton Pond, swiping his feet back and forth. 15 feet out, Jade was found barely breathing in 3 feet of water.

“I finally felt something. I just grabbed here and pulled her out and ran to shore.”

“I was actually heading towards him when he found her.”

Putting all emotions aside, Huotari didn't panic. He remembered his C-P-R training from four years back. His thoughts turned to a stranger.

“This can't happen. She's got to live, she's a little girl. Too young to have your life cut that short.”

Eight minutes later, paramedics arrived.

“Just clearing her airway, making sure nothing's in there, starting to do compressions.”

Houtari got Jade's pulse, heart rate, and blood pressure back. Grandma credits God.

“You sent us there, you helped us find her. The baby got her wings, don't let her fly home.”

Looking back, a scary scene, a place this family just stumbled upon, but because of these strangers kindness, a little girl is alive tonight.

“God sent us to that lake for a reason because otherwise it would've just been her great aunt and her.”

“Made me feel pretty happy inside just to know I was able to change her fate. Give her a second chance in life.”