AMERICAN FORK, Utah – It was a close call for a 3-year-old boy who was swimming at a public pool in American Fork. Two teenage lifeguards came to his rescue and talked to FOX 13 about how their training kicked in to save his life.
It was hard to find an empty spot at the American Fork Swimming Pool Wednesday night. They were hosting a free swimming event as part of the town's Steel Days, so hundreds of parents and their children packed the place.
“Yesterday was really crazy,” Kaylin Larson said.
Larson was one of the lifeguards on duty when trouble hit.
“We were just clearing everyone out when I heard this mother just scream her son's name," Larson said. "That's when I look over and saw the little boy. He was just face down in the water.”
Larson ran over to help. By then, the boy’s mother, Courtney Chorniak, pulled him out of the pool.
“I saw Grayson floating upside down," Chorniak said. "So I hurried and kind of trotted over there, jumped in the pool, got him out and yelled his name a couple of times, he didn’t respond."
“She was doing what any mother would do. His mother was giving him chest compressions,” Larson said.
Larson tried to pull out her CPR mask, but it wouldn’t work.
“They had all this equipment but weren’t quite sure what to do,” Chorniak said.
Chorniak says a nurse who just happened to be at the pool, stepped in to help.
A fellow lifeguard, Oakley Haslam, stepped in. Both lifeguards performed CPR on Grayson. After several minutes, they revived him, before paramedics arrived.
The boy was taken to Primary Children’s Hospital. His injuries are not considered life-threatening. He returned home Thursday and was greeted with gifts.
His mom said she's grateful he’s going to be OK.
“He’s lucky to be here today. We’re thankful that he’s here,” Chorniak said.
Haslam has been a lifeguard for two years now. As for Larson, she just completed her certification a month in a half ago. She didn’t expect it would come in handy so soon.
“I really think that was a blessing from God to retake that class so I could really know my certification and know my CPR and I really think it was meant for yesterday," she said.