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September 19, 2011

Ohio teen saves young swimmer from drowning

Mary Beth Lane
The Columbus Dispatch

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It was a 16-year-old high-school junior who plunged into a pool and saved a girl from drowning on Friday night, the owner of Aquatic Adventures in Hilliard said yesterday.

Lifeguard Josh Guy, a student at Hilliard Bradley High School, immediately jumped into the water and retrieved the 9-year-old girl, who was practicing with her swim team. He placed her on the pool deck and started cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

"He was our hero," said owner Gordon Jablonka.

Josh, who was certified recently as a lifeguard, and another lifeguard, 27-year-old Michael Waun, who also was helping coach the swim-team practice, continued the CPR until Norwich Township Fire Department paramedics arrived and took over, Jablonka said.

The girl is a member of a USA Swimming Team, a club team. She was among about six girls from the team finishing their swim practice when she faltered, Jablonka said. She was in stable but critical condition at Nationwide Children's Hospital yesterday, Jablonka said.

Norwich Township Fire Lt. Vic Lantz said the fire department isn't releasing the girl's name. Officials also didn't say yesterday what caused the girl's distress while swimming. Jablonka said he had been told by another swim-club parent that the girl had had a heart attack caused by a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

"She was swimming, and all of a sudden, she made a funny, jerking movement," Jablonka said.

Jablonka said he has owned Aquatic Adventures for five years. Several swim teams train there, he said. The pool also offers swimming and scuba lessons, CPR training and lifeguard training.

Copyright 2011 The Columbus Dispatch

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