A near-drowning at an area pool turned into a life-saving effort thanks to the decisive actions of a boy and his mother.
Around 3:20 p.m. Tuesday, 11-year-old Mitchell Leitzel spotted a 9-year-old West Chester Twp. girl at the bottom of the deep end of an outdoor pool at Lakota Family YMCA, 6703 Yankee Road, and quickly told his mother.
“I had just asked him where his sister was and he said there was someone at the bottom of the pool,” said Adelaide Leitzel of Liberty Twp. “You could just see on his face that he thought something was wrong.”
The sixth-grader said the girl’s eyes had rolled back into her head and her arms were “kind of oddly positioned.”
Adelaide Leitzel said she wasn’t able to see the girl very well, so she nudged her with her foot to see if she would respond. When that elicited no response, Leitzel hollered for a lifeguard and then dived to the bottom of the pool to retrieve the girl.
“You can’t really waste time when somebody’s at the bottom of the pool or any water,” Leitzel said. “They don’t belong there.”
By the time she got the girl to the edge of the pool, she was joined by a YMCA lifeguard and a mother who happened to be an off-duty paramedic.
Their combined CPR efforts resuscitated the girl, giving her a faint pulse at first, then shallow breaths.
“At some point there was a gulping for air and that was a relief,” Leitzel said.
Emergency crews transported the girl to Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Campus, where she was treated and released.
Lt. Morgan Dallman of the Butler County Sheriff’s Office said, “it was definitely the actions of the two parents that saved the child.”
Leitzel said she underwent CPR and first aid training because she’s an American Heritage Girl leader.
“Since we’re working with kids, we need to be ready,” she said.
The incident illustrates a lesson in every day pool safety, Leitzel said.
“You have to watch out for your neighbor in the pool around you (and) wherever you are because it could happen to anyone and it could happen fast,” she said.
Mitchell said he considers his mother a hero for her life-saving actions, but Leitzel brushes off any such notions, preferring instead to focus on her son’s actions.
“My son has it pretty accurate,” she said. “Somebody said to him, ‘So I guess you’re the hero’ and he said ‘I guess so. I just thought I was just doing what you were supposed to do.”
Lakota Family YMCA officials declined to speak to the Journal-News about the incident.
By Eric Schwartzberg - Journal-News, Hamilton, Ohio (MCT)
©2014 the Journal-News (Hamilton, Ohio)
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