Neighbors save woman from drowning

Teamwork is to credit for a lake rescue.

It happened in one of the Sister Lakes, Magician Lake, near a home on Maple Island Rd.

Kathleen Baliunas, 66, was swimming when Juan Bethancourt and his wife saw Baliunas struggling, then disappear under water.

They jumped into the water from their boat and pulled out Baliunas, who was not breathing.

That is when another neighbor and nurse, Shelley Hennen, heard what was happening.

"My son came to get me," she said. "As I came out of the house, I could see a lot going on out here, and kicked my sandals off and starting running. I got down to the end of the pier. And they were doing CPR on her."

Hennen got a slow pulse, and Baliunas started to breath as she coughed up water.

"Everytime I would talk to her, she would close her eyes again and I would start the whole process over again," said Hennon. "I called her name, she opened up her eyes, she was able to squeeze my hand, and we kept her in the rescue position than until, again trying to keep stimulating her

Baliunas was released from the hospital and is recovering.

“You go into your rescue mode as a nurse,” said Hennen. “I just basically took over the situation. But I had two willing rescuers who were there, in their life jackets ready to do whatever, they already had pulled her in, so they were kind of exhausted from just getting a person to the pier and initiating that situation.”

Shelley visited her Monday and says she is doing well.

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