Jeannette family honored after saving 5-year-old from drowning
Nicole Hall pumped the chest of her 5-year-old cousin after his body was pulled from the family’s Jeannette swimming pool this summer. After a minute and a half of compressions, the boy again started to breathe.
“He was lifeless,” said family member Patty Hall, 55, who provided oxygen while Nicole Hall, 23, performed compressions. “He was gone.”
But when he started crying, the family knew they had him back.
Jeannette officials on Thursday honored the Halls for their lifesaving actions in reviving the boy during a family party on June 30.
“I thought something fell and I went over and his mom’s performing CPR and I’m like ‘oh my gosh,’” Patty Hall said. “And then she kind of just lost it and she was just holding him, (saying,) ‘Oh my gosh, my baby.’ And I’m like give me the baby, and we laid him down and she started doing compressions.”
Nicole Hall said adults and other children were in the pool at the time, with others sitting on the deck.
“He was kind of like hanging on the steps, and I think that he might have been trying to hang on the side and make his way around the pool and he kind of actually made a comment, ‘I was holding on and I let go.’ We don’t exactly know (what happened),” Nicole Hall said. “There were so many people around, and it can happen so fast.”
The family now requires children who cannot touch the bottom of the pool to wear a flotation device, even if they’re on the deck, Patty Hall said.
Nicole Hall said her cousin does not remember what happened, but he is scared to go back in the water. Nicole and Patty Hall said family is encouraging him to take swim lessons to help him overcome his fear.
“Hopefully he gets the lessons and can spend many years in a pool safely,” Patty Hall said.
Between 2005-16, there were more than 3,535 drownings annually in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 1,000 children drown each year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide, with 70% of instances occurring between May and August.
In July, two Uniontown brothers drowned in their family’s backyard pool.
On Aug. 1, a 3-year-old Plum girl died after family members found her at the bottom of a pool. She was pronounced dead about an hour later at AHN Forbes Hospital in Monroeville.
Allegheny County police charged her father with felony involuntary manslaughter and two felony counts of endangering the welfare of children.
Drowning is the primary cause of death for children between ages 1 and 4, with 57% of drownings occurring in pools, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. The National Safety Council says that most drowning deaths are due to falling into a pool or being left alone in a bathtub.
“There was adults in the pool, there were kids in the pool, there were adults on the deck, there were kids on the deck. There were people there, so it wasn’t like he was by himself. It’s just that’s how quick it happened,” Patty Hall said. “You watch and you watch your kid. It could be anybody. It’s scary.”
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .