Parents & Uncle Save Toddler from Drowning

Posted by cocreator on June 06, 2014
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Cool heads and cardiopulmonary-resuscitation skills saved a 2-year-old girl who almost drowned near Vallecito Reservoir.

The incident took place Sunday evening north of the reservoir, where the Williams family of Mesa, Ariz., has a vacation home. The girl’s parents thought their older children would keep an eye on Clara when she went outside. They then realized the older kids had come inside, and Clara was outside alone, Upper Pine River Fire Protection District Chief Bruce Evans said.

“She found her way out onto the ice of the pond,” he said. “The child broke through the ice near where a stream feeds the pond and fell head first into the water.”

Shortly thereafter, the Williams noticed Clara’s pink shoes protruding from the hole and pulled her from the water.

“She was not breathing at that time,” Evans said. “The parents began CPR, and with the direction of the uncle, performed CPR, rescue breathing and rewarming of the child.”

The uncle had been a member of the Boy Scouts, where he learned how to resuscitate someone who has been immersed in cold water.

“The family revived the child prior to paramedics from Upper Pine River Fire arriving,” Evans said. “The first-arriving crews found the child blue in color but crying.”

The call came in at 6:25 p.m., and paramedics arrived about 12 minutes later from Upper Pine’s station below the Vallecito Dam.

Evans said no one knows exactly how long Clara was under water.

Clara survived with no neurological damage because of the mammalian diving reflex, Evans said. When the face hits extremely cold water, particularly in the very young, the heartbeat drops and the metabolism slows.

The record for immersion in cold water without suffering major neurological damage is Joey Garza’s 38 minutes in a river outside Fargo, N.D., Evans said.

Clara was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center, where doctors kept her overnight for observation. Deemed healthy, she went home Monday with her family.

“This had a great outcome due to a family with CPR training, who remained collected under the worst of circumstances,” Evans said.

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Teacher Saves Uncle soon after CPR Training

Posted by cocreator on February 03, 2010
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Stacey Beltran was at the home of Doug and Joanne Briggs for their traditional family Christmas Eve gathering of hors d’oeuvres and a bingo game.

Stacey Beltran the Saviour & Doug Briggs

Stacey Beltran the Saviour & Doug Briggs

As Beltran recalls, her Uncle Doug had just asked who had made the meatballs when he crashed to the floor.

Beltran’s sister dialed 911 but asked Beltran to talk to the dispatcher.

Beltran said she followed the directions of the dispatcher and remembered what she learned at the Dec. 18 CPR training that took place at Hamilton Elementary School, where she is a kindergarten teacher.

The class was led by Sandy Wargo of the Novato Fire District.

She provided CPR for about 5 minutes until paramedics arrived to take Briggs to Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Terra Linda.

Briggs said he was told he received three electric jolts from the paramedics’ defibrillator and three more in the ambulance.

He underwent surgery to install a pacemaker/defibrillator and is recovering well, he said.

“I’m so proud of her,” he said.

Wargo has heard the 911 recording and “she comes right out and says she took CPR from Sandy Wargo,” Wargo said with a laugh. “You could hear her in the background counting out loud as she’s doing the compressions.

“So this one really touches home with me. When you teach so many people CPR, you never know if they’re going to step up to the plate in an emergency and use those skills.”

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