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6yr old Drowned at our Gym pool...

post #1 of 105
Thread Starter 
We just joined the Gym last Saturday. On Wed. I was there with a couple of friends and their 10yr old daughters. (My 4 little ones were in the gym daycare already thank goodness) We were watching the girls, when one of them came over calling us scared with a lifeless little boy face down in her arms. It was in the kiddie beach pool, but the 4ft section of the pool and she was struggling a little bit to get across the pool with him.

Once we realized they were NOT playing, I jumped in (clothes, work out shoes on and all) to help them. I took the little boy from her arms, realized he probably already gone when I saw he was blue with purple lips and vomit and foam coming out of his mouth. It was the scariest thing I've ever seen! This poor baby boy! At this point, we were yelling for someone to get help as I was carrying him to the edge of the pool. NOBODY WAS DOING ANYTHING!!! They all just stood there watching in horror! I got him out of the pool, but was still in the pool standing there myself and began to clear his mouth out so we could listen to see if he was breathing. I was so shaky, but tried to take his pulse. I felt NOTHING, but almost didn't believe it myself. I remember hoping it wasn't true and that the reason I couldn't feel his pulse was because I was shaky, but then I saw his little eyes wide open through his goggles that he still had on his little head. I started to get out of the pool to begin CPR when an off duty swim instructor (who had heard yelling from the locker room) came running up. I told him we needed to start CPR and he began the chest compressions. It seemed like they went on forever. I was so shaken up, I couldn't remember if it was 5, 15 or 30 compressions before a breath! I was a lifeguard in highschool, and my last CPR class was in 2005 when we were applying to be foster parents.
I told the swim instructor he needed to tell me when to breath for him, and I continued to clear his mouth as vomit and white bubbles where coming out so he would be ready. Just before it was time to breath for him, another man (where was everyone else?!) came up and asked if I needed him to do them. I said yes since I was still standing in the pool at the boys side, and he obviously had a better angle than me. After the two breath's...more chest compressions....and I heard someone yell, "Where are his parents??" That's when a man standing above us said very nonchalant - "Well, I'm his dad.....Oh look, he SH** him self. What happened there Mikey?" I couldn't believe how laid back this guy was! He didn't try to comfort him, or jump in the pool to hold his hand or anything! After two more breaths, I noticed a little life come back into his eyes, under those goggles and told the two guys doing CPR. He very slowly was trying so hard to breath again! You could see him trying with all of his might to suck in air in short little breaths as I was saying, "Come on Mikey...Breathe sweetie...It's okay." The swim instructor told him to try to cough, and he tried (although it was nothing close to a Cough....you could see it helped) Then he just look terrified and began to cry a very low moaning cry...poor thing. He was all stiff lying there on his side just moaning/crying as I was comforting him telling him he was going to be okay. We took his goggles off and the swim instructor put his hand under his head so it wasn't directly on the cement. (This swim instructor was SO amazing, and he's probably not any older than 17 or 18!)
The dad still didn't get in the pool. I looked up and didn't see him around anywhere. The ambulance finally showed up and took him away, but the dad never said a word to him - didn't even go in the ambulance. I couldn't believe it. Maybe he was in shock, or drunk, or I don't know WHAT. It turns out that the little boy is fine. I *hear* that he's made a full recovery and only spent one night in the hospital. It turns out that his mom is a personal trainer at the gym. The swim instructor told us the next day that it was all caught on tape and that this poor baby was in the pool *drowning* for SEVEN minutes! SEVEN minutes, and not ONE person noticed?! We were diligently watching my our girls in the pool and didn't see him either! Where was his father? (Mom was as home) There are signs everywhere that say there is no lifeguard on duty, and that you MUST be watching/swimming with your kids at all times. Children 6 & under have to have an adult in the water with them. There are "deck Supervisors" who walk around with whistles, but aren't lifeguards. The did absolutely NOTHING when everything went down. They didn't even clear the pool! (Another parent did eventually) The deck supervisors stood as far away as possible shocked and did nothing. One gym employee ran out with a first aid kit, but that's it.

I sort of half expected someone at the gym to contact me and say something like, "We know you just joined the gym, and we're sorry that whatever the circumstances were, you were put in this position. We have talked with our staff and are making sure to put emergency procedures into place so that if this ever happens again, we will be prepared." NOPE, nothing. The gym manager is always in meetings. I told the ASst. manager I wanted to speak with hiim and gave my phone number, but recieved no call. (that was on Thursday) On Friday evening, I called the corporate office and the lady on the phone was SO rude! She asked what I was calling about and when I said I was one of the people who helped save the little boy and wanted to know that they are going to train the employees to handle emergencies and make sure kids are being supervised by their parents in the future, this is what she said to me: "Well....you're about the 12th person who has called today "claiming" they were the one to rescue the little boy, so everyone seems to think they're a hero right now" This just pissed me off, and I set her straight and told her what my role was. Saving this boy was a TEAM effort between my friends daughter, myself the swim instructor and the other guy!

I thought I was okay, and feeling good we saved this boys life...BUT I'M NOT. I'm so shaken up by this! I cannot get his lifeless face out of my head. I can't stop talking about it. I go to bed thinking about it, it's been the first thing that pops in my mind when I wake up. We went to two "swimming" birthday parties this weekend and I don't think I've EVER had as much anxiety as I did while my kids (who swim pretty well) were swimming! A couple of times I thought I was going to jump in the pool unnecessarily and people would have thought I was crazy! What's wrong with me? The fact that the gym is trying to sweep it all under the rug and pretend it didn't happen is upsetting me even more. I wish they would just validate that yes, this did happen and they're going to learn from it! Instead, the receptionist is telling people a false story of what actually happened when people inquire. Why are they covering it up?

I'm so sorry this is so long! Like I said, I'm a little traumatized. I hope it wasn't too graphic, and EVERYONE can learn from this. I'm sure his dad thought he was a great swimmer, and in a beach pool where he could touch the bottom no less.

I wasn't really sure WHERE to post this either, so sorry if it's in the wrong forum!

WHAT WOULD YOU DO? Should I just let it go, or keep trying to talk to the gym manager? It all happened last wed., so about 4 days ago.

And...thank you for listening and letting me get it all out!
post #2 of 105
oh, my goodness. You sound amazing; I hope you're there if mine ever got into some trouble.
I think you should keep bugging them. If you have the time, contact the manager again, even under false pretences. Call the police as a non emergency and detail it to them, make sure they know where it happened, tell people.... See if the hospital has contact info for this family, just so if nothing else you can contact them and get closure... I think that's what you need.
Don't stop. There's OBVIOUSLY something very wrong at this place.

I really think you're one of these good people who we read about in the paper, you know the sort; they help. Period.
Amazing.
hugs.
post #3 of 105
OMG!!!!!!!! That is the scariest thing I've read in a long time......poor you, I would be totally traumatized, I think I'm traumatized now! Thank God you were there for the little boy, and he made it. If it were me, I would be making a scene about it, and yes, I would insist on talking to the manager.
I can't believe they don't have lifegaurds on duty, that's wild! It's a shame how nonchalant the dad acted, what a strange situation.
post #4 of 105
I don't know what to say, but I felt I needed to post in support. Thank goodness those of you who acted did so! I think, if I were you, I'd try again (on the phone and/or in person) to contact the gym manager. I'm so sorry that you had to go through that (and sorrier for the little boy, of course, though I'm glad he's okay now). I do hope the gym is talking about the incident with all employees, and I wonder if they haven't said anything to you because they're talking with lawyers about how to handle the incident...
post #5 of 105
I don't even know where to start.
post #6 of 105
Oh, wow! I feel all faint just reading your story!

My 5 yo and and I went to a birthday party at a pool a couple of weeks ago, and adults had to rescue kids five times. It was insane. It really opened my eyes to how dangerous pools are. And I am now convinced that it is true what they say, that having young children in swimming lessons simply makes you less cautious, because kids that had been in twice-weekly swimming lessons since before they could walk were still panicking and getting in trouble.

I am so glad that boy lived. So, so glad. And I would imagine his dad was just in incredible shock. I doubt he will make the same mistake again.
post #7 of 105
I couldn't read this without respond. I'm in shock. I'm most worried about the little boy's welfare -- it sounds like there is definitely something wrong with his father. Could you contact a child welfare organization and let them know what happened?
post #8 of 105
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your responses, and for even getting through the whole post! I asked them why they don't have lifeguards (I think I always thought the deck employees were lifeguards, but they just didnt announce it so people would watch their kids, ya know?) He told me they have no lifeguards on PURPOSE because then people by law would be allowed to leave their kids at the pool and go work out, and they don't want them doing that. I'm in CA...anyone know if this is true?

It seems to me like poeple who are going to watch their kids, will whether a lifeguard is there or not, and the same goes for parents who AREN't going to watch their kids, so it wouldn't hurt to have lifeguards no matter what!
post #9 of 105
Wow, that is SO scary! I would be shaken ,too! I'm so glad he didn't die!
HOnestly, I would aske for a refund and join another gym. They are down playing a very serious situation, probably because they are trying to avoind fall out, but it's not a responsible response at all.
post #10 of 105
They are obviously more concerned with liability--while one of their OWN EMPLOYEES and spouse can't care for their own child--than they are with the child's life. What a sick, sick world we live in.

You're probably and understandably in a fog from all of this , but make sure you document every detail--times, dates, names--of everything related to the event, from the event itself to the follow-up conversations.

More savvy parents will probably have ideas where to report these people--BBB and your State Atty General come to mind, but others may have better ideas.

I'm am sooooooo sorry. That this little guy survived is nothing short of a miracle. Thank you for what you did.
post #11 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by MandyB View Post
Thank you for your responses, and for even getting through the whole post! I asked them why they don't have lifeguards (I think I always thought the deck employees were lifeguards, but they just didnt announce it so people would watch their kids, ya know?) He told me they have no lifeguards on PURPOSE because then people by law would be allowed to leave their kids at the pool and go work out, and they don't want them doing that. I'm in CA...anyone know if this is true?

It seems to me like poeple who are going to watch their kids, will whether a lifeguard is there or not, and the same goes for parents who AREN't going to watch their kids, so it wouldn't hurt to have lifeguards no matter what!
At the gym I belong to, children have to be 9 years old to be left at the pool alone.....even with 2 lifegaurds on duty, I don't think I'd do that. Like you said, parents are either going to watch their kids or not.
Oh yeah, I'm in Louisiana so the laws are probably different anyway.
I don't know, there definitley seems to be something wrong at that gym from the way you describe how it all went down. Scary.
post #12 of 105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neuromancer View Post
I do hope the gym is talking about the incident with all employees, and I wonder if they haven't said anything to you because they're talking with lawyers about how to handle the incident...
The reason I think they AREN'T talking to the employees is because everytime it's been mentioned, nobody seems to know about it. One daycare employee asked another manager if she knew about it, and she told the same wierd story the front desk person is telling. They're saying he was in a swim lesson with the instructor {um, no} and got over exhausted, so the instructor began CPR. The story doesn't even make sense! Why would you do CPR unless he was gone?!
post #13 of 105
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I was horrified reading this that there was going to be an awful ending. I'm so glad you were there to help this little boy. I can only hope that his dad was just in shock and couldn't process what was happening. Last week I was at a friends house with my kids in their new above ground pool. It's just one of those small ones - 30 inches of water. I was watching as my 4 year old walked across the pool and tripped and I didn't realize he was in trouble - I thought he was getting brave and putting his face under until I saw his feet come up. So, please, don't feel guilty for not noticing this boy - I was in reaching distance of my son, whom I was keeping a close eye on as I know he's a non-swimmer, and I didn't notice. Had I not been there, I don't think any of the many adults standing close or kids swimming in the pool would have noticed - he just looked like another one of the kids playing. And this also happened in a pool where he could easily reach the bottom. (He was fine, by the way, just a little traumatized and in awe of his big brother who he's been calling his "rescue hero" for being the one who pulled him out.)

I don't know what to do about the gym management. While I don't think they're responsible for what happened, since they don't claim to have a lifeguard on duty, they absolutely should have some sort of emergency response plan in place - designated people to call 911, staff with updated CPR certificates, etc. My niece works the front desk at a gym and she has to keep updated CPR/first aid certificates. I would expect more of a response from the staff.

How are the girls handling it? I could imagine that could be very traumatic for them . I'm glad they saw him, and that you and the swim instructor were there to help.
post #14 of 105
Good grief! I can't believe there AREN'T lifeguards. I can tell you what I'd do were I in your shoes, but you still need to chose your own path. I do think however it would be good for you to speak to a professional about it, just to help you get through this traumatic event, so it doesn't manifest in other ways. You did an amazing job and thank goodness you and your friends were there.

As for what I'd do, I'd scream to everyone who'd listen to get this gym's policies changed, and if it meant changing the policy of the district so be it. I'd be on the horn to the media so fast. But I can tell you that something like that for me, would be therapeutic. It really depends on what you need to do for yourself.
post #15 of 105
When CPR is necessary, it is because someone is dead. So often, it is too late. You pumped and breathed life back into that little boy. Thank you.

It is so shocking to see something like that. Sometimes people freeze up. I am glad some of you became clear enough to help. It saved a life. It sounds like the father did not realize that his child's heart stopped.

It makes so much sense that you can't stop thinking about this. Of course not. I am glad you are following up with the gym and corporate, and I am so sorry for the rudeness on the phone with the lady at corporate.

And thank you for an important water safety post in the summer time when so many of us are spending the days with our families in pools. The younger of my kids is such a fish and is so close to learning to swim, but your post was a good reminder to me that no matter how old they are and what they know, every moment I must be 100% vigilant.
post #16 of 105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wagamama View Post
I couldn't read this without respond. I'm in shock. I'm most worried about the little boy's welfare -- it sounds like there is definitely something wrong with his father. Could you contact a child welfare organization and let them know what happened?
After the boy left in the ambulance, I made a point to let the police officer know that the father was acting very strange and had been no where NEAR him supervising him. He agreed with me that the guy seemed "off", but I guess nothing ever came of it. I have to say though, that I have met the boys mom at the gym and she seems like a wonderful mother. Very into Attachment parenting, breastfeeding, etc. I was nursing my son in the gym on the day we joined and she is the one person who came up to me and we had a lengthy conversation (she has a 16 month old too). She played with my 8month old and everything. How odd that it ended up being HER son. I want to talk to her, but don't know what to say to her. I don't want to upset her more, but am not even sure if she understands the gravity what happened or not! What is the gym telling HER? I don't know....

Thanks again everyone for your support! I think the real heroes in all of this are the kids! The little boy, the girls how found him at the bottom of the pool and brought him to our attention, and the swim instructor who acted so swiftly! They really should be honored and not swept under the rug!
post #17 of 105
Thank God he is ok!

You did an amazing thing!!! I have no words to say what is on my heart.....
post #18 of 105
Yikes! How scary. It sounds like you need a stress-debriefing. Maybe a counseling apt. or two. The psyche really gets screwed up with such a high-emotion event.
post #19 of 105
I am so thankful that you happened to be there with your family. If you want you could contact the local news so they can do their own PSA as well. God Bless.
post #20 of 105
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyster View Post
As for what I'd do, I'd scream to everyone who'd listen to get this gym's policies changed, and if it meant changing the policy of the district so be it. I'd be on the horn to the media so fast. But I can tell you that something like that for me, would be therapeutic. It really depends on what you need to do for yourself.
This is exactly what I feel like I need to do. Just checking I guess to make sure I'm NOT crazy to want to do so!
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