Truckee teen saves 2-year-old: ‘The hero, Mr. Sundale’
August 7, 2003
Truckee resident Kyle Sundale, who will enter his freshman year at Truckee high school this September, just happened to be in the right place at the right time, Reno resident Ken Stover said.
Because Sundale was walking by the third-level pool at the Hilton resort at Waikoloa Village in Hawaii at the right time, he was able to see and rescue Stover’s 2-year-old daughter Lindsay, from the bottom of the pool.
Ken said Lindsay and her brother Keegan, a 4-year-old, were at the pool with their mother, Peggy. When Lindsay got out of the second-level pool (there are three levels, according to Ken) to go to the third-level slide, Peggy turned to grab Keegan and Lindsay was gone.
Ken said Lindsay had tried to swim to the slide, but could not make it. Sundale, at the resort on a day pass, happened to see the 2-year-old at the bottom of the pool.
Sundale said he was walking by and saw Lindsay at the bottom of the pool. “I had this bad feeling,” he said. When he saw her face was purple, he jumped in a pulled her up, with the help of another woman. Sundale said he did not get the woman’s name.
“She was blue when he pulled her up,” Ken said. However, no CPR was necessary at the scene, he said, and there were no secondary drowning issues. Lindsay was taken to the Waimea Hospital overnight, as a precaution.
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“It just happens that her guardian angel that day was a neighbor down the street in Truckee,” Ken said. “…the hero, Mr. Sundale.”
Humbly, Sundale said, “I just happened to be there at that time.”
Ken said he tried to locate Sundale the next day, but was not around the resort. He did say, however, that Sundale contacted the family a few days later to check up on Lindsay.
Ken said it was hard on both him and his wife. “You always want to blame yourself – I blame myself for taking a nap and not being with them. But children run off. Thankfully, Mr. Sundale was there to save her.”
Ken said Lindsay is a “delightful girl, with blue eyes and a bright smile,” and is “a little heartbreaker.” He said, “She is one of the most precious things in my life.”
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 3,482 people drowned in the United States, which translates to nine people per day.
The CDC also reported that 943 children ages 0-14 died from drowning in 2000. The CDC said drownings are declining, but still are the second-leading cause of “injury-related death” for the age group.
The CDC is currently initiating several programs around the United States, including “Three Tragic Seconds,” which will teach parents about drowning prevention, and has been started in Arizona and Florida. They are also conducting several studies to better inform people how to prevent a drowning.
For more information on the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control water injury statistics and water safety, visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/cmprfact.htm and click on “water-related injuries.”
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