Fifteen ladies from New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, and Minnesota set out on a girls trip to Port Aransas, Tex., to enjoy time together and hang out on the beach. The group included sisters Karly Atwood and Brooke Carr, from Spring Valley. Atwood owns a hair salon in her home and Carr is the owner of Carr’s Club House. The ladies are friends and family that met through the girls’ Great-aunt Donna.
The ladies stayed together in a condo owned by the sisters’ great-aunt on Mustang Island. The condo overlooks the beach and ocean providing the perfect venue for a getaway and to celebrate a 70th birthday.
Carr and her husband have been having infertility issues for the last 6-7 years and suffered a miscarriage a few weeks earlier, and she needed to get away. As the group walked down to the beach one morning around 10:30 a.m. to spend the day, Carr’s great-aunt pulled her aside, they prayed and talked.
The beach was packed. Both sisters love kids, so it was tempting to go build sandcastles with the kids on the beach, but it was mom-time away, so it was decided to just enjoy the girls’ trip. Many times, they thought about going up to the condo. Carr explained, “We were hungry, we were hot, we were sunburnt, we were just ready to go.” Instead, they went and sat under their tent and around 3:30 p.m., the sisters’ mom noticed a 6- or 7-year-old girl, being carried out of the water. Wondering out loud if she was okay the group jokingly said to Carr you know CPR go check it out. At that moment Carr noticed her little arm was limp.
Carr chucked her phone and ran over asking “Is she all, right? Is she breathing?” The man carrying her did not know. Carr instructed the man to lay her on the ground. Brooke noticed her eyes were rolled into the back of her head. “She wasn’t there.” She immediately started doing compressions.
Carr explained, “I’ve taken a few CPR classes over the years for daycare but never thought I would be the one performing CPR. I thought I could always assist or be around but would always want someone else to do it. I do not remember anything more then just starting to press on her little chest. People started surrounding us and I remember saying somebody needs to start giving her breaths.”
That somebody was her sister. Carr kept encouraging Atwood to continue giving her breaths, “Keep doing it. It is working. I can see her chest rising.” A nurse stepped in and took over for Atwood and started giving breaths.
Choking up, Atwood stressed the importance of taking CPR classes, “This is the hardest thing I have ever done.”
The members of the all-girl group played a role. The young cousin ran to the lifeguard station to summon the lifeguards. Everyone was praying. The sisters’ mom and aunt gathered up all their belongings and took it to their car. Others offered comfort to a little brother who was crying.
The ambulance showed up and stayed for a long time on the beach, which the sisters were told was a good sign that the little girl was okay.
The hardest part was leaving and not knowing what happened to the little girl. After all was over a lady came over, they formed a big circle, and she began praying over the group.
Carr began to walk up the beach alone, crying. The nurse came over and assured her that they saved that little girl’s life by reacting so quickly.
Carr mentioned that she is not sure if she would have reacted so fast if she had not heard the story about Logan, a little boy from SE Minnesota that nearly drowned.
“Because we reacted so quickly, is what saved her life,” shared Carr.
“I hope everyone takes CPR classes. This experience really opened my eyes. The girls in our travel group want to take CPR classes now,” shared Atwood.
The American Heart Association, www.heart.org, has an online course locator and the American Red Cross, www.redcross.org, offers online CPR classes.