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Toddler nearly drowns at Greenwich Club

August 6, 2012

EAST GREENWICH —It’s been five years since Paul Donnelly has been manager at the Greenwich Club and, in that time, he never received a scare quite like the one he had last Friday.

Nerves were extremely rattled at the exclusive club located at 5426 Post Rd. last week on the part of both workers and members alike when a two-year-old infant was found floating in a pool during the late-morning hours.

According to the reports filed by East Greenwich Police, the preliminary investigation revealed that the infant was found by his mother, Bridget Neary Lawton, of Hope Valley, floating face down in the ‘Middle Pool,’ a swimming area with a depth of three feet, at the Greenwich Club on Friday. The mother then called for help, jumped into the pool to retrieve her son, who showed no signs of life as that time.

“The mom kind of zigged and the kid zagged,” Donnelly said, “and the kid unfortunately zagged right into the pool.”

At around noontime, both the East Greenwich Police and Fire Departments were dispatched to the Greenwich Club to handle the incident. Upon the fire personnel’s arrival, two physicians, identified at Dr. Victor Pinkes and Dr. Jeannine Connolly, both members of the Greenwich Club – were attending to the two-year-old victim near the pool he fell into by administering CPR. Approximately two minutes had passed before the toddler showed signs of life, taking two labored breaths.

After the infant regained consciousness, the victim – whose identity is withheld due to his age – was transported to Kent County Hospital and then to Hasbro Children’s Hospital for further evaluation.

“We got an email from the family after that saying that everyone was alright,” Donnelly said. “They were a bit rattled for sure, but they were alright. It was an adrenaline-pumping thing for sure. But everything worked out well in the end.”

East Greenwich Police talked to the lifeguard on duty and he said that he had his attention to the large pool because it was open to both adults and children at that time and the middle pool was empty. The lifeguard, according to police, was made aware of the situation only when he heard Lawton screaming.

Southern Rhode Island Newspapers
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