Army veteran saves child vacationing
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - A Washington family's peaceful vacation at one of Orlando's most well-known resorts was interrupted Monday by out-of-the ordinary screams coming from the pool at their Westgate Resort.
"I hear this blood curdling scream. People were just screaming, 'Help! Lifeguard, lifeguard!'" said Christina Lamothe. But there was no lifeguard on duty.
"I looked out and I just see a kid lying there," said Lamothe's fiance, Carlos Mullen.
"He yells something and he just rushes down three stories because we're on the third floor," Lamothe said.
Mullen said that when he got downstairs he found a crowd around a 6-year-old boy who had nearly drowned. He stepped in to do CPR.
"I was able to do what I had to do to get the child a heartbeat," Mullen said.
The Army veteran's experience in high-stress situations had paid off.
"I looked in this kid's eyes and I've seen shock on a man's face before. This kid had that look," Mullen said.
Mullen and Lamothe said they were shocked when resort staff told them hotels aren't required to staff lifeguards or people with CPR training at pools.
"God forbid he didn't go down there, I don't know what would have happened. That family probably wouldn't have had a son anymore," Lamothe said.
Westgate Resorts sent a written statement after FOX 35 inquired about the near drowning. It read, "All Westgate pools are marked with clearly visible signs that there are no lifeguards on duty and to swim at your own risk...Fortunately, another guest witnessed the situation and took the necessary action to save the child."
Lamothe and Mullen wanted to take time out from their family vacation to remind others that the rule at most pools is "swim at your own risk."
"If you see something going down, don't be afraid to jump in and help," urged Mullen.
When asked if he felt like a hero, Mullen demurred saying, "Not at all. The heroes are [the boy's] brothers. His brothers pulled him out of the water."
FOX 35 wasn't able to reach the boy's family. Lamothe and Mullen say he spent the night in the hospital, but he's expected to be OK.