Man reunited with hero who saved his life when he was a child

PHOENIX (KSAZ) - "I wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for him," Colter Conway said.

Twenty-six years ago, Conway nearly drowned in his backyard pool.

Jacob Petersen was 15 then and a friend of the family who lived down the street. He still remember the day as if it were yesterday because he saved Colter's life.

"His mom called me on the phone asking me to do some yard work and mow their lawn," Petersen said. "I was in hyper-focus mode. Things went into slow motion, kind of like you've heard, and I pinched off his nose, tilted his head back, opened his airways and started giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation."

A month before Jacob saved 18-month-old Colter's life, he had just completed a CPR course. He didn't expect to use what he learned that day, but Colter and his family are certainly grateful that he did.

"By the time the paramedics were there, Colter was fighting them and trying to get away from them to get to his mom," Petersen said. "He wanted his mom!"

Every year, SRP partners with Valley firefighters and the Drowning Prevention Coalition to offer free CPR classes. Since Jacob is an SRP employee, Colter's family thought the class Jacob was leading would be a perfect opportunity for a surprise reunion.

And an opportunity to share their special story.

"I think the biggest lesson I can take from all of this is to be prepared because you never know when tragedy strikes, and honestly that lesson has stuck with me for the rest of my life," Conway said.