Mom meets Nappanee lifeguard who saved her 1-year-old son's life


A Nappanee lifeguard is receiving praise after saving a 1-year-old from drowning.

Doctors say it was her quick action that saved the boy's life.

Wednesday, the mom met the lifeguard who saved her son's life. It was emotional.

The mom tells WSBT 22 her son was with family friends at the pool when it happened.

Because the nature of the accident the family wants to remain anonymous.

But they want to make sure the lifeguard gets recognition.

Lifeguard Katelyn Smith was working out of the office at the Nappanee Pool on Monday when she noticed something was wrong.

"I looked out in the pool area and saw that there was a girl watching a child and she started to become frantic. And I wasn't sure what she was doing at the moment, but I saw her pick up a child and she started to panic. I saw that he was just limp and she started coming over to the office area to lifeguard room,” said Smith.

Smith says that's when she noticed the child was unconscious.

She asked another lifeguard to call 911 and began CPR.

Smith says this was her first time performing CPR. But was thankful that her training kicked in.

“I feel like a lot came to me in the moment. I was able to think through and process what to do, but at the same time just the nerves of not knowing. Will you know what to do, like I've been trained for it, but just in the scenario where it's just completely different,” said Smith.

When medics arrived the 1-year-old was flown to Fort Wayne.

After several tests, the doctor told the parents there would be no long term damage.

The mom sent us a statement saying: "He is doing wonderful and already back to his normal self. No damage is done. Incredibly thankful for the lifeguard. If she was not there then he wouldn't be alive."

Smith is happy the boy is alive.

But she wants all parents to know situations like this can happen around any type of water.

“Parents are making sure that they are always paying attention to their children while they are in the pool or whenever they are by water. Just knowing the risk that it does involve,” said Smith.

The lifeguards say the boy was in the kiddie pool.

They ask parents to be there with them swimming.

Since this happened, Nappanee pool is adding more signs and a lifeguard to watch that pool.

WSBT 22 did meet the little boy Wednesday. He looked great.

Again, if you're going to the pool, beaches or anywhere around water, parents need to be watching kids.

Even if they can swim.

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