By Bill Shields

BARNSTABLE (CBS) – A 19-year-old lifeguard from Craigville Beach is being hailed as a hero, after saving the life of a 14-month-old boy.

It happened Tuesday, when the Caporale family was vacationing there. Little Leo choked on a piece of watermelon, and both his parents couldn’t dislodge it. “I really tried but I couldn’t do anything,” said his mom, Val. “It was very difficult.”

Even his dad, Conor started to panic. “Well I didn’t believe her at first, then she handed him over and his mouth was foaming,” Conor said. “We were terrified. Terrified. I still get choked up.”

boysaved Cape Cod Lifeguard Reunites With Baby He Rescued On Beach

Val and Leo Caporale hug Barnstable lifeguard Jake Avery (WBZ-TV)

Conor ran to a lifeguard stand where Jake Avery was working. “Face down over my knee with his head toward the ground, and then just did like five back blows,” Jake explains.

The piece of watermelon was dislodged, and on Thursday, the family from Switzerland returned to the beach to thank Jake.

life Cape Cod Lifeguard Reunites With Baby He Rescued On Beach

Leo Caporale and Jake Avery (WBZ-TV)

“That was amazing what you did really, I mean you saved his life, I can never tell you how thankful I am,” Val told Jake.

“No bones broken, nothing aspirated, it was done perfectly,” Conor said.

They all embraced, and when the family left, Jake said, “hopefully, I get to stay in touch throughout his life.”


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