Red Cross Real Hero – Nikki Jackson 

Thursday November 8th, 2012 six people were honored by the Pine Tree Chapter of the American Red Cross for their heroic actions and coming to the aid of those in need.We profile the award winners, including Nikki Jackson who was a life saver for her nephew at a family reunion last summer.~~~~~Three-year-old Joe Belanger has a big, loving family that means a lot to him. But there’s one member of his family who’s very special, his aunt Nikki, who he calls ‘Taunt.'”Taunt saved my life,” said Joe.Back in July, the whole family got together for a reunion, and all of the kids were enjoying splashing around in the pool.”I was just sitting on my lawn chair and next thing I know, I hear somebody hollering ‘Call 911!’ ‘Call 911,'” described Nikki Jackson, Joe’s aunt.Jackson looked around frantically, saw a family friend carrying a little boy and realized it was her nephew. Joe had fallen into the water and was unconscious.”I just ran over, I checked his pulse and he was blue. He wasn’t breathing. He didn’t have a pulse, so I started CPR. I just knew I had to save Joe’s life and I had my brother sitting beside me kind of crying and screaming at me ‘Oh my god, Nik, you need to save his life and that was going through my mind too, what if I can’t bring him back, you know? Will that weight be on my shoulders?We gave CPR for about three minutes and then he started to come to,” said Jackson.”I don’t think I could have reacted like she did. She was there in a split second and everyone was just in shock of what was happening,” said Joe’s mother Michelle Belanger.Joe was taken to the hospital and stayed overnight as a precaution.”There were no adverse effects at all. I mean, probably in the ambulance ride he started acting like himself and wouldn’t stop talking and we were like ‘Well, he’s back,'” said Belanger.Joe’s family is forever grateful that Jackson was trained in CPR and knew exactly what to do.”I’ve always kept up, you know, with two little ones of my own, you know, I think when you have kids, having CPR is probably the first thing that a parent should take,” said Jackson.Her training saved Joe’s life, which is why Belanger nominated Jackson to be a Red Cross Real Hero.”Because she is our whole family’s hero,” said Belanger.That scary experience brought this tight knit family even closer.”You don’t take life for granted, you know. I just feel like every time I see Joe, I just have that much more love for him,” said Jackson.Months later, Joe actually loves to swim. He doesn’t really remember what happened in July, but his family likes it better that way. Belanger said, “Hopefully he won’t remember it, just through word of mouth that Taunt is his guardian angel.”