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Boy Scout honored for saving 3-year-old from pool

by Maggie Crane

KMOV.com

Posted on October 24, 2010 at 11:58 PM

(KMOV) -- A St. Charles boy saves a 3-year-old from drowning at a YMCA pool.  Now, he's being honored for his heroic efforts.

It's a dose of good news tonight.

"I'm really proud of it," Connor Doherty, 8, says of his new medal, which marks an act of bravery and very quick thinking.

This week, 8-year-old Connor Doherty was honored by the Boy Scouts of America with a Medal of Merit.  Connor's mom recommended him for the honor few ever receive. 

A trip to the YMCA pool last November turned dangerous.  Connor and then-3-year-old Jackson Slager were sitting on the edge of the deep end, waiting for mom and dad when Jackson fell in.

"You hear a splash in the water when your back is turned and ultimately you don't know what's going on," Jason Slager, Jackson's dad, says of the terrifying moments.

That's when Connor jumped into action.

"I saw him starting to sink, so immediately I jumped in after him and went under him and pushed him up, and then his dad grabbed him by the hand and pulled him all the way out," Doherty says.

"All I remember seeing because it was a very scary sight was Jackson  -- he was probably going down about one or two feet," Linda Houseknecht, Connor's mom, says.  "He was under the water."

"I saw bubbles coming out of his mouth.  I was so scared," Doherty says as he reads the letter he wrote to the medal committee.

"Connor's act of bravery went without any type of debate on what should be done," Slager says.

The 4-year scout had been taking swimming lessons since he was an infant, and they paid off.
   
"I'm very proud of Connor because he's a real hero in the community because my son is looking up to individuals 7,8,9 years old," Slager says.

That medal didn't come easy.  It took a committee almost a year to present Connor with his Medal of Merit.  The scouts award, on average, less than 100 nationwide every year.

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