Many times when people talk about pool safety and children, the focus is on toddlers and very young kids who haven’t learned to swim yet. The truth is that swimming can be a dangerous pastime no matter what your age or swimming level, which is why lifeguards are a vital presence at public pools.
Jose DeJesus’ 8-year-old son, Christian, was swimming in the pool when he managed to make his way to the deep end. Jose admits that Christian isn’t the most accomplished swimmer, and the boy soon went underwater.
Thankfully Christian was spotted, and Jose was the first to jump in after him. He’d just experienced a great loss, and the thought of losing Christian pushed him even more to react immediately.
“Lost a child two months ago to leukemia,” he later told WBZ-TV. “So I, you know, jump into action and wanted to save my son.”
As soon as he pulled the boy out, the young lifeguard on duty approached and immediately started resuscitation efforts.
“I prayed,” Jose said. “And I just, you know, was, you know, praying for the best for him. And I knew he was in good hands.”
Onlookers watched anxiously, posting a barrage of updates to their local Facebook group.
“A child was pulled from the Olsen pool and transported to the hospital … say a prayer,” one woman wrote.
“I was there,” one person commented. “A 9-year-old boy was pulled from the pool unconscious and a female lifeguard perform CPR and got him breathing. He left in an ambulance breathing but unconscious.”
Christian began breathing on his own and was taken to the hospital, where he was briefly monitored before being sent home. The pool was shut down for the remainder of the day.
— MassDCR (@MassDCR) August 11, 2021
“I don’t know her name, but I will thank her when I go back there,” Jose said.
“She did a fantastic job,” state police Lt. James Bazzanotti added. “You know, right to her training, did exactly what she did. She talked to the child — communicated well as the child was not breathing well but — and still gurgling. She did a great job — fantastic.”
As for Christian, he’s a little more aware now of the dangers that can come from not following the rules.
“They’re children and they do things, you know, unexpectedly,” Jose said. “Now he understands, you know, not to jump in the pool.”
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