Reading teen credited with saving friend's life in pool

'I thought she was going to die'

READING, Pa. - You know where to find people when the weather says summer. For 13-year-old Yermolet Ruiz, a day at Reading's Schlegel Park Pool turned into a life-changer.

Ruiz was swimming with a close friend of hers just before 6 p.m. Tuesday when she looked over and saw her friend was struggling.

"I thought she was just trying to breathe, because I do that, too," said Ruiz, "but then she wasn't responding, so I went over there and put her on my back."

Ruiz swam her over and called for a lifeguard. Her friend had to be rushed to the hospital. Meanwhile, Ruiz made a phone call to her mother, Jennifer Karras.

"I was on the phone with her. She contacted me, 'please get in touch with me and meet me across the street,'" said

Karras was in touch with the girl's family. Her condition was looking bad from the outset.

"She had a seizure. They think that she had a seizure in the water," said Karras. "They thought that she drowned."

"I thought she was going to die," said Ruiz.

According to Karras, the girl was unresponsive for two hours. She said doctors were thinking of sending her to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, but before they could, Ruiz's friend became alert. Karras said the girl went home Wednesday. Ruiz had saved her friend's life.

"I was very proud," said Karras. "Brought tears to me eyes, yes. Very proud of her."

Quiet as she may be, her brave actions spoke loudly about her character.

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