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Heroine Proves Superpowers Not Needed To Help

City Councilman Ron Menor with Chelsey Anne Dungca. Photo from Menor's office.

City Councilman Ron Menor with Chelsey Anne Dungca. Photo from Menor’s office.

Ron’s Corner….City Councilman Ron Menor

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. One such hero is Chelsey Anne Dungca, a sixth-grader at Honowai Elementary School.

I presented Chelsey Anne with an honorary certificate during the City Council’s Sept. 10 meeting for saving a 5-year-old boy from drowning at Coronado Swimming Pool in Ewa By Gentry. Joining her for the presentation were her mom Angelica Austria, grandmom Elizabeth Austria, cousin John Vincent Purganan, school principal Kent Matsumura and home-room teacher Roslyn Kanae.

Chelsey Anne joined several friends July 10 for a day of swimming. With her were four other children, the youngest of whom was 5 years old, and three adults. The four older children were enjoying themselves and did not notice the 5-year-old boy make his way to the far end of the pool. The boy, who was wearing blue swim trunks, held onto the railing and then let go, not realizing that he was in the deep end of the pool.

A friend named Johnelle had borrowed Chelsey Anne’s goggles and mentioned that she saw a blue-colored object on the bottom of the swimming pool. Chelsey Anne urged her to double check, so Johnelle dove down and confirmed that the motionless object was their 5-year-old friend. Johnelle began crying.

Chelsey Anne immediately sprang into action, grabbed the goggles from Johnelle and dove to where the boy lay at the bottom. She managed to half-carry, half-drag the boy to the surface and up and out of the pool, where the panicstricken adults began administering CPR.

The adults were so shaken up that they were unable to call 911, but Chelsey Anne composed herself and dialed for help. The boy coughed up water and in a few minutes regained consciousness. By then, paramedics, fire-fighters and police had arrived. Emergency responders credited Chelsey Anne’s ability to remain calm and her quick decision-making with making the difference between life and death for the 5-year-old boy, who has since made a full recovery. Chelsey’s strong swimming ability was also a crucial factor. She took swimming lessons at the Leeward YMCA and was able to put her skills to good use on that fateful day.

Her teachers at Honowai Elementary describe Chelsey Anne as a conscientious student who keeps a level head in stressful situations. She is the type who willingly assists others whenever possible and is also a capable leader. As a student council class representative and a Gifted-and-Talented student, Chelsey Anne leads by her actions and sets an example for other students.

Chelsey Anne is proof that you don’t need superpowers to be a hero.

Congratulations to Chelsey Anne for her heroism and ability to remain calm, cool and collected in the face of impending tragedy. I wish her continued success at Honowai and in all of her personal endeavors.

Call City Councilman Menor at 768-5009.