MOUND (WCCO) — There were some frantic moments on Lake Minnetonka for a Minnesota family whose 6-year-old son was pulled out of the water lifeless.

Jimmy Kolles survived being underwater for three minutes, and now the people who saved his life have gotten a big award.

“It’s unbelievable, this kid’s will to survive,” said Chuck Murray, a relative who helped save Jimmy’s life.

Jimmy is a swimmer, and now he’s known as a fighter. He and his family were at a family reunion at his grandparent’s home in Mound the day before the 4th of July. He went swimming with family and then disappeared underwater.

“I’m sitting on the bench and see the tips of a youngster going under the water,” said family friend, Brenda Madar, who then said she saw bubbles coming from under the water.

She did not know at the time that Jimmy was missing and asked Murray to search the area.

“I just happened to brush by him on the bottom of the lake. He just caught my foot as I was sweeping the bottom of the lake,” Murray said. “That’s when I was able to see that he was blue and could tell he was not breathing and no heart rate, which we determined when we got him on the dock. He had no heart rate.”

Another family friend stepped in to help with CPR.

“Then relief, by the Grace of God. Just all of a sudden had a heart rate slowly,” recalled nurse Brenda Bethel about the frantic effort to get Jimmy breathing again.

“I had his mother at the foot yelling his name. I had his father at his head yelling his name. We couldn’t give up on this little guy. It really pushed us to do everything we could to save his life,” said Murray.

Jimmy’s heart started beating again. He started breathing at the scene, thanks to the friends who stepped in. Ridgeview Paramedics rushed to the scene, after getting the 911 call, and they transported Jimmy to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis in very critical condition. He spent several days in the Intensive Care Unit.

Due to the efforts of his rescuers, he has made a full and complete recovery.

“We are so thankful to everyone! God put them there cause they knew what to do, and I didn’t,” said Jimmy’s mother, Geri Kolles. “All of us are affected by it. After it’s all said and done, it’s a blessing for our family, because we’ve been through this. He’s OK, and we have a greater appreciation for each other.”

Tuesday night, at the Mound City Council Meeting, city leaders and Police Chief James Kurtz gave Lifesaver Awards to the three people who helped Jimmy at the scene. The Paramedics, along with two Mound Police Officers and the Mound Fire Rescue Department, also received an award.

“It was just too perfect. He was not to die that day,” recalled Brenda Madar about the events. “His angels were all lined up perfect for him. I’m so glad he’s still with us. We’re so blessed he’s still with us.”

Jimmy’s parents know he’s a good swimmer, but said he wasn’t wearing his life jacket that day. They think another child might have jumped on Jimmy accidentally and pushed him underwater. They’re now stressing how important knowing CPR is.


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