Military News

Friday, May 01, 2015

Alert Soldier Saves Drowning Child

By Army Staff Sgt. Kristen Duus
1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2015 – For one El Paso family, Army Sgt. 1st Class Lynnette Hobson-Shearwood was fortunately in the right place at the right time.

Hobson-Shearwood hails from Trinidad and Tobago. She’s the Supply Support Activity platoon sergeant for 1st Armored Division’s Alpha Company, 501st Brigade Support Battalion, “Ready First” Brigade Combat Team,.

The senior noncommissioned officer has been working evenings in preparation for the unit’s rotation to the National Training Center in mid-May.

But Hobson-Shearwood left work early April 23 and arrived home shortly after 6:00 p.m. Instead of following her normal routine, she went straight to her backyard to water her plants.

‘I Thought It Was a Doll’

"I heard a baby making a whimpering sound," Hobson-Shearwood recalled. "I didn't see an adult in the yard and I noticed a little boy in pampers and he was over the pool, pulling on something in the water. I thought it was a doll."

Fearful that the 2-year-old boy would fall in, she called out to the neighbors. No one heard her, so she jumped the fence. It was not until she approached the child that she realized it was not a doll in the water. It was a one-year-old boy, submerged in the water. Only his ankle was above water.

"I came around to the pool and I could get him without jumping in," Hobson-Shearwood said. "I picked him up, put him on the side of the pool, and started doing CPR on him.”

The fully-dressed child was unconscious and had already starting to turn blue when she grabbed him from the water.

‘Please God, Don’t Let Him Die’

"When I was doing mouth-to-mouth, all I was saying was, 'Please God, don't let him die,'" Hobson-Shearwood said.

After what seemed like an eternity of performing CPR, the infant, named Troy, coughed up water.

"Once he started breathing, I put him on his side in the recovery position and I went knocking on the back door to get the attention of somebody in the house," she said.

Troy’s grandmother was home and she immediately called 911. Hobson-Shearwood continued to tend to the child until the paramedics arrived.

‘He Started to Regain His Color’

"When he took his first breath, I was so glad," Hobson-Shearwood said. "He started to regain his color and I was hoping he didn't suffer any brain damage."

Hobson-Shearwood said Troy’s family has visited her several times to thank her for her actions, and told her after several days in the intensive care unit that he is showing signs of a full recovery.

The soldier credits her quick actions on the training she has received in her 20 years in the Army. She said she doesn't consider herself a hero, adding that anyone would do the same thing in that situation.

‘An Incredible Act’

"It's an incredible act," said Army Capt. Ramses Diaz, Hobson-Shearwood's company commander. "Anyone who has kids, anyone who has been around kids, I'm sure would feel that was an act of bravery that she performed. She doesn't want to be considered a hero, and we would all like to think we'd do the same thing, but we are not all put in those situations and she was that night, and she acted in a heroic manner."

While Hobson-Shearwood downplays her heroics, she said she can't emphasize enough the importance of water safety.

"I am always big on teaching children to swim," she said. "You can start to teach them to swim from three months old. I think once you have children around, you should learn CPR and basic first aid."

Troy’s family is forever grateful to her for saving the life of their child, and want to now celebrate two birthdays for him, to include the day he was brought back to life, April 22, Hobson-Shearwood said.

"I think it was an act of God that I was there in time to help him," she said.

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