Back to the Basics

Yesterday afternoon, I was hanging out in the swimming pool at our new apartment. I was chatting with a 21 year-old kid about the NBA, Miami Heat and college hoops when I heard a screech from the other side of the pool. As I looked over, I saw our nanny frantically reaching for something. As I approached, I realized what happened: a young girl drowned in the pool and was laying on the bottom.

I quickly waded over. A young Haitian man reached down and grabbed her head and I took hold of her feet. We raced to the edge of the pool and placed her limp, blue body on the cement. I immediately checked for a pulse, found none and then gave two mouth-to-mouth breaths. I instructed the Haitian man to start chest compressions but, unfortunately, he did not know what to do. I yelled “Lisa!!!” at the top of my lungs and proceeded on my own.

Lisa arrived quickly and, within seconds, we had an effective, well coordinated resuscitation going. After a few more rounds of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15 and breathe and breathe we checked our little patient again. She was still blue with no pulse and had begun bleeding from her mouth. “This is not good”, I thought out loud.

However, we continued. After every breath, I wiped away her bloody vomit and we kept going.

Then, at about 4 minutes, I had trouble getting a breath in….. I pulled away and to my surprise, she had a little wimper followed by a shallow breath. Then another breath, this one deeper. Then another and she started to turn pink. Then, after about 60 seconds, she opened her eyes and started crying.

What a relief!

I looked up and realized a crowd had gathered. More than 30 faces were in shock, most with tears running down their cheeks.

After a little crowd control, we loaded our patient into a car and headed for the hospital. Before reaching the gates of the facility, the little girl was coherent and began talking like a normal little child.

It is amazing how simple Basic Life Support can save a life.


8 Responses to “Back to the Basics”

  1. Kim Williams Says:

    Wow. All I could think was what if that was my child. I need to take a class, pronto! I’m so glad you were both there – job well done.

  2. Khattab Says:

    wow Chris. not sure i would have been that cool under pressure. what a turn of events for the better. great work.



  3. Sangita Says:

    Great job done, Chris. You never give up.

  4. Jennifer Lynn Voight Says:

    Guardian angels ❤

  5. parke Says:

    Oh Joy! Great story.

  6. Yousef Y Turshani Says:

    Uplifting to hear a positive outcome in what is usually a not so good situation (bottom of the pool). Great work. Will send you email about the case we saw here in Saipan.

  7. Francisco Acosta Says:

    great job buddy and Lisa!

  8. Mike Carpenter Says:

    Amazing story, who better to find a drowning kid at the bottom of a pool than a super star pediatrician. Uncle Bob and I were talking about this and we deemed you Saint Christopher. Miss you guys, can’t wait for our kids to play together

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