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Lake Gibson High Graduate Saved a Life … and Then Thanked His Teachers

Lake Gibson High Graduate Saved a Life … and Then Thanked His Teachers

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Senior photo of Kenneth Troche Figueroa

Kenneth Troche Figueroa is barely removed from his days as a senior at Lake Gibson High.

He’s already working in his chosen field as a patient care assistant at Lakeland Regional Health. But at just 18, Troche has done something truly extraordinary: saved a life.

In late July, Troche was at home when his two-year-old nephew nearly drowned. He quickly responded and worked alongside his brother, Kemuel (an LGHS 2015 graduate), to revive the young boy.

In the aftermath of the incident, Troche reflected on the panic that had filled his home, and how he had sensed the gravity of the moment — his nephew’s life was slipping away — without letting it overtake him.

He thought back to his time as a student in LGHS’ Academy of Health. He grabbed his phone and began typing a message to Samantha Thompson, the academy’s lead instructor.

This is what it said:

“Hello Mrs. Thompson, I am texting you to say thank you. I am saying thank you because my health care knowledge was put to the test today when my nephew was found unconscious in the pool.

He was blue when my brother and I found him after we heard my mom screaming. Thanks to the extensive practice and dedication from all of you, I managed to remain calm in a moment of chaos. My brother began compressions and I (started rescue breaths), turning him to his side when water was being expelled from his lungs.

Thank you for all that you have done for me, which allowed me to save my nephew’s life. I managed to get him to come to and gasp for air, which he then was taken to the hospital where he is better but is being monitored for any injuries that may have been caused by this tragic accident. Please make sure to tell (the other LGHS instructors) for me or give me their phone numbers, so I may tell them myself.

Once again THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, you all have prepared me in such a way that I did not realize, but is now an instinct that I’m glad I have. I will make sure to update you of anything that may come up. Thank you and God Bless!”

Kenneth Troche Figueroa at graduation