Shared with Permission from Cory Suter of Suter Home Innovations:
On May 19, 2017, Cory Suter saved his son’s life with the help of his and a neighbor’s knowledge of CPR:
I made a series of small mistakes that led to a trauma no one should experience.
Sunday afternoon at my in-laws in Florida, I played with Jonathan in a private pool for about half an hour, but never set boundaries as to which parts were too deep for him. Then I let him remove his safety bubbles because they were restricting his movement. Soon after that, Allison and I got distracted trying to get Caleb’s life jacket on correctly and Jonathan slipped into the deep end of the pool unnoticed. He was unconscious when we discovered him. I screamed for the in-laws to call 911, pulled his limp body out of the deep end, and we tried CPR, but it didn’t work. Jonathan’s body was purplish blue, belly swollen, and face clogged with vomit that I couldn’t clear by my sucking or Allison’s chest compressions. I was in panic and had failed to clear the airway by reaching two fingers into Jonathan’s clinched jaws. A Good Samaritan dashed into our yard and did child CPR correctly as I frantically tried to reach and talk to an EMT. Caleb Shoemaker used his fingers to clear the airway and then compress Jonathan’s chest two inches down several times, which worked to get enough water and vomit out for Jonathan to start breathing again a little, his eyes opened, and his color started returning. He remembers this part and prior to blacking out. A few minutes that felt like an eternity later he coughed and vomited a huge amount more water. Jonathan started really crying; what a beautiful sound! He said his first words a little before the police and EMTs finally arrived.
Jonathan was treated at the hospital for bronchiolitis (he loved seeing pictures of his bones and cloudy lungs on the X-ray), and had to take medicine by IV to induce frequent urination to flush the excess liquid out of his system. He was discharged on Monday in good health and he has handled the trauma pretty well. The hemorrhage in his lower eye from the extreme pressures, and scratch bruises where he grabbed at his neck under water should go away soon. He has been our happy boy again and even beat us fairly in three strategy games.
We hope our awful experience can remind others why pool safety is so important. Last summer when playing with Jonathan in a pool, I had told him if he went under and needed me to help him back up, he should raise his hand to get my attention. This is the advice Jonathan followed after letting go of the wall and sinking. He opened his eyes, and waved to us from under water, patiently trusting I would come while he held his breath as long as possible. Life is fragile; so, be safe and embrace your loved ones every day.
Sign up to learn how to save a life today at www.shoensafety.com