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Lifeguards, park-goers revive girl

June 29, 2003|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Greenbrier State Park lifeguards, with the help of doctors and nurses who were visiting the park, revived a 3-year-old Baltimore girl after she nearly drowned in the lake Saturday.

Sequoia Rantin was flown by helicopter to Children's Hospital in Washington, said Ranger Bob Haney.

Lifeguard Miles Hawthorne, 27, of Shepherdstown, W.Va., said he saw a woman stand up out of the water and point down. The unidentified woman lifted the little girl out of the water.

Hawthorne said he jumped off his lifeguard stand and ran to meet them.

Meanwhile, lifeguard Danielle Kiefer, 17, of Frederick, Md., called for an ambulance. It was dispatched at 5:08 p.m.

Hawthorne, who is in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves, carried the girl to the beach area and took her vital signs.

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"She was trying to breathe and had a pulse," he said.

While Hawthorne was trying to clear the girl's airway, two doctors came over to help and her pulse was lost.

Hawthorne said he and one of the doctors gave her cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, which restored her pulse.

Bill Peddicord, 50, of Annapolis, is a registered nurse who said he kept an eye on the child's pulse and kept her positioned properly for CPR. She was having difficulty breathing.

"She very quickly regained a pulse," he said. "The good news is she went out of here breathing on her own."

Ambulances from Boonsboro and Mount Aetna responded to the call, Haney said.

An ambulance took the child to a field near the lake where the helicopter landed.

Peddicord said she now is at risk of infection from the water in her lungs.

The girl was picnicking in the park with a group of family members including her mother, Vernea Rantin, and her grandmother, Katheryn Orallo, Haney said.

Haney said the incident was very unusual.

"I've been here 11 years and have never seen anything like this," Haney said.

Lifeguards said the rescue was like something out of their training manual.

Kiefer said the running exercise Haney had the lifeguards grudgingly do that morning came in handy when she went running for help.

"We will never complain about it again," she said.

Haney said the park was filled Saturday with patrons enjoying a sunny 81-degree day.

"What a way to end a beautiful day," he said.

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