Local News

9-year-old hailed as hero after pulling 2-year-old cousin from pool

Posted June 12

— A 9-year-old girl is being called a hero after preventing what could have been a tragedy at a local swimming pool.

On Saturday, Zully Fernandez was swimming at a community pool with her cousins. On Monday, she was featured on the Apex Police Department’s Facebook page, after being awarded the Chief’s Coin for her quick thinking.

“I was swimming, then I saw my little cousin floating on top of the water,” Fernandez said.

9-year-old pulls 2-year-old cousin from pool

At some point, Fernandez’s 2-year-old cousin, Noe, slipped into the water while the other children played. He had been in the pool for several minutes before she noticed.

“So scary. I thought he was dead,” Fernandez said.

Through a translator, Fernandez’s mother said she is amazed that her daughter was so brave and acted so quickly. Because of her actions, she was honored by Apex Police along with a couple- Carlos and Melissa Rodriquez- who administered CPR when Noe was pulled from the pool and revived him before EMS arrived at the scene.

“I’m going to give him a big hug because I love him so much,” Fernandez said of what she plans to do the next time she sees her cousin.

Police said Noe is ok and has returned home with his family.


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  • Bobby Caudle Jun 13, 7:31 a.m.
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  • Janet Ghumri Jun 13, 7:10 a.m.
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    Courage, grace and love. These are the forces guiding this young hero. Hats off to her for the bravery she has shown in the face of fear. She is a remarkable young lady! So very glad the little one is already released and recovering!