Arlington dad uses CPR to save son's life

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by JIM DOUGLAS

WFAA

Posted on June 23, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 23 at 9:12 AM

ARLINGTON — Pools can be cause for concern for families.

It's estimated 300 children under the age of five drown in pools and spas each year.

Last year, a record in Texas: 113 children drowned and that could have happened to a little boy from Arlington, if not for his quick-thinking father.

His story is the kind of accident that would make any parent panic but in this case, panic might have been fatal.

If you're looking for a reason to learn CPR, listen to a young father who watched his little boy come back to life a week ago Sunday.

Wayne Martin's seven-year-old son was pulling his little brother out of the whirlpool and yelling for daddy.

"I pulled him up, raised him in the air, shouted his name. He didn't have any signs of breathing," he said.

No one saw four-year-old Evan slip into the whirlpool.

He was totally unresponsive. "Not breathing. He had no heartbeat," said his father.

Martin says he had stepped inside for only a moment, and was less than 20 feet away.

"Evan was sitting here, and asked if I was ready to come swim with him. I said 'yeah, let me grab my swim trunks.'"

While another child called 911, Martin laid his son on the deck and began CPR.

"He began to spit up a little water. I kept on until first responders came," he said.

"It was hard. I had taken some EMT training about six years ago."

Evan spent four days days in an induced coma. Doctors lowered his body temperature to reduce brain swelling.

Then, on Thursday, Evan's parents tickled his toes. The toes wiggled.

"It was a great day. The best you can imagine," said Martin.

"A few hours later, he was moved down to his own room. Today you'd think nothing ever happened to him."

Martin believes CPR saved his son's life, and he wants to share that message and encourage everyone to take the time to take the class.

E-mail: jdouglas@wfaa.com

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