Former Army medic rescues toddler at beach; reminder to watch young kids in the sun

PSL boy was suffering from heat
Posted at 5:20 PM, Jun 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-22 04:05:18-04

Bathtub Reef Beach reopened to the public Saturday, but the celebration was almost marred by tragedy.

Josh O’Donnell was part of the crew putting the finishing touches on parts of the Stuart beach.

“That morning we were actually putting the line painting up for the ambulance access," said O'Donnell.

Minutes later, an ambulance rushed to the scene after O’Donnell heard cries for help surrounding an 18-month-old boy.

"The child was seizing on the beach due to overlong heat exposure which was less than an hour," said O'Donnell who recalled helping the Port St. Lucie family find a parking spot.

Using his training as an Army combat medic, O’Donnell, working with a Sheriff’s deputy and a lifeguard, got the child cooled down by first wrapping him in a cold wet towel.

“From there we got ice bottles of water we keep for construction and placed him under his armpits and behind his neck.”

After the child received oxygen, he responded, and started to cry.

“I have a 1-year-old myself, so it really hit home holding this little boy and seeing what the sun can do at a fun day at the beach," said O'Donnell.

One thing to note, according to O'Donnell, is that the child wasn’t having difficulties during the midday heat, but at 10 a.m.  He hopes parents will remember to keep a close watch at the beach this summer.