MORGANTOWN, W.Va. —  The family of a boy who suffered a medical emergency at the Krepps Park Pool earlier this month is thankful for his recovery and the work by lifeguards and first responders that made it possible.

Jason Pauley’s son, Jackson, suffered a medical emergency, and the lifeguards and staff at the pool quickly sprang into action before the first responders arrived. Pauley said his son lost a pulse for about two minutes while lifeguards worked on his son with several other pool goers looking on.

“Everything points to the fact the fact that he had a seizure and fell in,” Pauley said. “He had to be rescued; the lifeguards were on the scene and were exceptional, and everyone else behind the scenes doing crowd control was nothing but exceptional.”

Pauley was not with the family at the pool but arrived later at the hospital after Jackson was transported. Concerned, shaken, and rushed, Pauley was learning by the second the severity of the situation while making his way to the hospital to be with his wife and two other children.

“It was a lot, I’m not going to lie,” Pauley said. “When I come in and you see the hospital chaplain talking to your wife, she’s all teary-eyed, and as a dad coming in after the fact, I’m thinking the worst.”

His son was in the pediatric ICU while doctors worked to get the water and mucus out of his lungs, a process that took a few days. Once his son started to show positive improvement, he set out to find the young lifeguards who likely did the most important work early on.

“Once I knew Jaxson was somewhat stable, we weren’t out of the woods. I immediately got in my car and was trying to find these lifeguards because I wanted to check on them,” Pauley said. “Because trauma is a real thing.”

Pauley said the experience has opened his eyes to what lifeguards in public really do. The lifeguards are the ones remaining alert and concerned while families play or even sleep in the sun by the pool.

“It’s a very demanding job, and I think it’s underrated because people think we’re just going to the pool today, but they deal with a lot even on a so-called normal day,” Pauley said. “The amount of training they had and the way they put it into action is remarkable.”

For the Pauley family, this was a life-changing moment with a pleasant ending and a group of new acquaintances.

“I’ll forever be grateful for every lifeguard, every EMS worker, every doctor, and every nurse because it was not good; it was a very bad situation,” Pauley said.

Jackson is back to normal and at home, according to Pauley.

Leave a Reply