Three people who helped save the life of a 2-year-old girl who fell into a septic tank were recognized for their heroism on Tuesday.
Henry Ricketts, 27, of Maricopa, and Audencio Rios, 29, of Standfield, jumped into the tank to try and locate Kylie Lafferty.
Kylie had been chasing her dog in a nearby dirt area behind the Farmer's Market at 49301 W. Papago Rd. in Maricopa.
The child stepped on top of a 21" plastic cover which covered the opening of the sewage/septic tank. The cover had three cracks ranging in size from 4 to 10 inches. When the child stepped on the cover, it flipped open and the child fell into the tank and went completely under the sewage inside of the tank.
The child's mother began to scream for help. That's when several good Samaritans in the area ran over to help.
The bottom of the tank was 75 inches from the top of the tank and the tank contained 50 inches of raw sewage.
The men swam around in the tank until one of them could feel the child's hair. Kylie was pulled up and handed off to Chelsea Cunningham, 28, who is a rancher in Alberta, Canada.
Cunningham immediately began to perform CPR on Kylie, who was not breathing.
"I was raised in a home that heroism is just what we are called to do," Cunningham said at the ceremony.
After a short time, the child began to breathe on her own and started to cry. It was estimated Kylie was under the sewage for about four minutes.
Medics from Southwest Ambulance arrived on scene and took over the medical care of the child. The child was taken to Cardon Children's Hospital by ground ambulance.
Kylie is expected to make a full recovery.
Kylie's mom, her eyes filled with tears, thanked the trio for saving her daughter's life.
The family has hired an attorney to determine who's responsible for not securing the opening to the septic tank.
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