The scariest day of Stephanie Creasy’s life turned out to be the best day, when she saved an 8-year-old’s life.
On Sunday, Creasy, the general manager at the Best Western Inn, was celebrating a 9-year-old’s birthday at the hotel’s pool when an 8-year-old girl was found unconscious in the shallow end of pool.
Creasy, along with her husband, jumped into action and was able to save the child’s life. The girl was released from a Phoenix hospital Wednesday in good condition.
The girl, who had reportedly complained of leg cramps earlier in the day, had continued swimming in the shallow end of the pool with two friends.
Creasy and several other adults were watching the children play in the pool and Jacuzzi. Around 2 p.m., Creasy said she was getting ready to leave and did not see anything unusual in the pool area until she looked over and saw another child holding the 8-year-old up in the pool, with foam coming out of her mouth.
“The kids were not yelling or anything, so that’s why we didn’t know anything was wrong before,” she said.
Creasy’s husband jumped in and lifted the girl out of the pool, and Creasy immediately began CPR.
“I didn’t realize what I was doing when I did it, I just did it,” she said.
Only six months ago, Creasy said she decided to take a CPR class in case she ever needed it at work. Later, she found out that one of the responding EMTs was her CPR instructor.
“It was probably the worst day of my life,” she said, “seeing the look on that girl’s face.”
By the time EMTs arrived, the girl was conscious, but she was flown to a Valley hospital as a precaution, said Fire Chief Marty deMasi.
“Starting CPR right away was life saving,” deMasi said.
“The important lesson here is that even though a lot of folks were around, they need to be paying attention. You really have to watch because it truly only takes a few seconds.”
deMasi said they do not respond to many near-drownings in Payson, compared to the Valley, because there are fewer swimming pools.
In her 30 years on the Best Western property, Creasy said there had never been a drowning at the pool.