May 062012

A group of Queen Creek boys put their Boy Scout training to use when one of their own suffered a seizure in a family swimming pool and nearly drowned.

Just a few days after Warren McGregor, 12, of Troop 303, had finished brushing up on his cardiopulmonary resuscitation skills in preparation for teaching a group of younger scouts, the boys returned from a campout in the mountains and decided to go swimming in the McGregor’s pool. It was a Saturday like many others and the Scouts, aged 10 to 13, were all experienced swimmers.

As Warren crossed the pool , he noticed his friend, David Lee, 13, face down at the bottom of the pool. Warren dove down and turned David over.

“I noticed (David) was not moving, his eyes were staring right through me and his lips were a dark shade of blue,” Warren said. “The first thing I thought was that he was dead. I pulled him to the side of the pool and started doing CPR on him. I didn’t want to lose my friend.”

Several other Scouts helped Warren pull David out of the pool. Soon after Warren started to administer CPR to David, he started coughing up water and breathing, heavily at first. By then, the Queen Creek and Gilbert fire departments’ paramedics had arrived in response to the 911 call placed by Warren’s mother Kelly.

The paramedics took David to Cardon Children’s Medical Center in Mesa, where it was determined he was fine, Elizabeth Lee, David’s mother, said.

At last week’s Town Council meeting, Queen Creek Mayor Gail Barney recognized Warren McGregor, and fellow Scouts Kyle “Chaz” Welch, Dylan Lambert and Jayden Meeks, who also helped with the rescue, as Queen Creek Heroes for their quick action in the April 21 incident.

David had suffered a seizure in the swimming pool, Elizabeth Lee said.

A person experiencing a seizure is unable to control his body, said Dr. Gary Smith, administrative medical director for the Queen Creek Fire Department.

Elizabeth Lee said David had his first seizure in February and underwent a battery of neurological tests afterward. The test results were normal.

“It looked like a one-time event … No one expected this,” Elizabeth Lee said.

The quick action of Warren and the other Scouts saved David’s life, Smith said. In a matter of seconds, David could have inhaled water and drowned.

“These boys are heroes in my mind,” Smith said.

Warren said he learned when faced with an emergency, “you don’t have time to look (the information) up – it’s instinct. I was lucky enough to have my Dad as a scoutmaster to train me.”

David said the event taught him to pay more attention to what he was learning in Scouts.

A year ago, the boys had all earned their First Aid Merit Badge, which included CPR, but only Warren had chosen to brush up on the skills to teach other Scouts. And Warren was the only boy to swim to the other end of the pool where David was found.

“A series of miracles were in place to save David,” Kelly said.

Warren’s father, Wade, said scouting is as relevant today as it has always been.

“Being prepared is the Scout motto,” he said.

“Scouting teaches boys to think for themselves and gives them the skills to understand what needs to be done.”

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