Off-duty police officer rescues neighboring 2-year-old from drowning after hearing screams five doors down

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Some heroes save the day even when they’re off the clock. 

Police officer Brian Wilson with the Columbus, Ohio, police department is one such hero, having recently rescued a 2-year-old girl who almost drowned. 

The girl’s mom, Mary Giedeman, told FOX News that she, her boyfriend Stephen Lopez and their daughter Carmella had recently moved to Columbus, and were staying at a friend’s house while they searched for their own home.

On the evening of June 19, Giedeman and Carmella had just gotten home from a grocery trip when Giedeman let the dog outside as she put away the groceries. Within minutes, Giedeman noticed the house was far too quiet. 

“When your kid gets quiet, it’s like, oh, what are they doing, they’re into something,” Giedeman told FOX. “Normally it takes me a minute to realize it, but something kicked in right away.”

Police officer Brian Wilson with the Columbus, Ohio, police department recently saved Carmella Lopez, 2, after she almost drowned. 
(Courtesy of Mary Giedeman)

Giedeman went into the next room and noticed that the door she had opened earlier to let the dog out wasn’t closed all the way. 

That’s when she ran outside and saw Carmella floating in the pool. 

“I dove in and I pulled her out and put her on the deck,” Giedeman said. However, Giedeman explained that she doesn’t know how to do CPR, so she started screaming.

“I just kept screaming for help,” Giedeman said. “I really did not know what to do. I was completely panicked. She was starting to turn blue already.”

Thankfully, just five houses down, Officer Wilson – who was off-duty at the time – heard Giedeman’s screams and ran to the house. 

As several other neighbors called 911, Wilson stepped forward and started doing CPR on Carmella who was clearly not breathing, Wilson said.

Wilson heard Carmella’s mom, Mary Giedeman, screaming for help and when he arrived, he started performing CPR on Carmella, which saved her life.
(Courtesy of Mary Giedeman)

“I was definitely worried,” Wilson told FOX News. “I mean, I’ve done CPR a few times in my career. That was the first time I’ve done it on a child. And quite honestly, just the way she looked, the way she felt, you know, she was very limp.”

Wilson said he continued to perform CPR.


Giedeman said that while she watched, she prayed “a million times” that God would take her over Carmella. 

“I just felt so helpless,” Giedeman said. “I feel like I failed her. As a mom, I’m supposed to be able to protect her and everything and I just didn’t know what to do. It just happened so fast.”

Finally, as Wilson continued to perform CPR, Carmella vomited and started to moan slightly. Medics then arrived and took over. 

Carmella was taken to the hospital, where she was monitored for a few days before being cleared to go home.

“Hopefully she doesn’t remember any of it and it can just be a story to tell her,” Giedeman said.


She added that she and Lopez are “forever grateful” to Wilson. 

Giedeman, pictured left with her boyfriend Stephen Lopez and their daughter Carmella, told Fox News that "Brian saved her, but really in reality, he saved all of us."
(Courtesy of Mary Giedeman)

“We always say, ‘Brian saved her,’ but really in reality, he saved all of us because we would not be OK remotely ever if he hadn’t gotten there…if he hadn’t showed up.”

Wilson said he refuses to accept what he did as heroic. 

“If you have the ability to help somebody, regardless of what it is, I would hope that any decent person would do it,” Wilson said.

“It’s not anything special,” he added. “It was something that I just happened to be there [for] at the time, and had some training.”

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