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A gift for a lifesaver

By Deborah Rowe
For the Fort Bend Star



One young man’s act of heroism has not gone unnoticed. A local resident bestowed a $1,000 scholarship to a young man for saving someone’s life.

Missouri City resident and Elkins High School senior Dante Baker is a lifeguard. What started as an ordinary day at the pool last summer for Baker quickly turned into a life-or-death race. Six-year-old David Mikel was in the pool, but quickly went under water. Baker saw the child go under and not come back up. He jumped into action.

“I was scanning the pool area making sure everyone was safe and having fun,” Baker said. “It was then that David’s mother began shouting that her son was under water. I jumped into the pool and pulled him out and laid him on the ground. He was pale all over. His lips were blue and he wasn’t breathing.”

While another lifeguard called 911, Baker jumped into action and started doing chest compressions on Mikel.

“When I bent down to give him air he started coughing and spitting up water,” Baker said. “His color started to return to normal. Then the EMS and fire department showed up to take care of the rest.”

Baker was told he was a hero by the firefighters.

“I could finally say that I did something to make me proud of myself,” he explained. “David’s parents kept thanking me and gave me a card. I thought that was very nice of them.”

When Missouri City Resident Joe Perry heard about the incident, he reached out to Baker and gave him a $1,000 scholarship for college.

“I give scholarships to students all over Texas who excel at something,” Perry said. “Usually it is for students who are good in math, science and technology. But when I heard about Dante, I knew he deserved something in return.”

Perry said it makes him proud to give these scholarships.

“The students work so hard,” he said. “This is my way of thanking them.”

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