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12-year-old hailed as hero after saving mother's life

Posted at 5:21 PM, Mar 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-02 21:01:00-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Callum Wagner rose up among the capacity crowd inside a University City ballroom Monday.

He took the stage in front of hundreds, as they gave him a standing ovation.

"My mom keeps saying it's a big deal," said Callum, 12. "I don't like to talk about it."

Callum's mom, Beverly Wagner, says she wouldn't be alive today if not for her son. That's why on Monday, Callum was one of three children honored as 2020 local 9-1-1 for kids heroes.

It was July 1, 2019. Beverly had just got out of the jacuzzi in their Alpine home when she said she was feeling ill. Moments later, she was unconscious, suffering cardiac arrest.

Callum was the oldest other person home at the time. He called 9-1-1, and Heartland Dispatcher Kim Gonzales picked up.

"All I remember hearing him say was, his mom is dead, and at that point, it's go time," Gonzales said.

For the next eight minutes waiting for first responders, Gonzalez instructed a desperate Callum how to deliver C.P.R.

"She's not breathing," Callum told her on the phone call.

"It's OK, keep doing 1, 2, 3, 4. 1, 2, 3, 4," Gonzales responded.

It was Callum's first time delivering C.P.R. He did it so well that Beverly made a full recovery, with no brain damage.

"He did a great job because he broke my ribs, and that kept me alive," Beverly said. "They said that's a good sign of CPR."

Beverly says Callum deserves all the accolades.

During the 9-1-1 call, Callum told Gonzales that his mom was going to die.

That's when Gonzales replied, "Listen you're going to be your mom's hero. We're going to help her, OK?"