Rescued youngster doing fine

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 5, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Joey Tolson, the 3-year-old who fell Wednesday afternoon into a 6-by-6 water-filled sluice pit, was full of energy and fussing Thursday morning after returning home from Obici Hospital. He was making a ruckus because his grandmother, Carol Sutton, had to leave after seeing him safely from the hospital where he’d been held for overnight observation following a harrowing experience on the family farm.

The little boy’s saga began Wednesday when Suffolk Communications 911 Dispatchers received a call around 3:30 p.m.; the boy had slipped into a pit while playing with a friend at the family horse farm in the 7200 block of Harvest Drive.

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According to his mother, Julia Tolson, Joey was sitting on the side of the pit and then he was suddenly gone when his playmate turned to look at him. The playmate ran to get a family friend, Rose Recor. She ran to the scene, reached down and yanked Joey out of the water where he was floating in slime and algae.

&uot;It (the handkerchief) was all I could see,&uot; she explained. &uot;I knew it was Joey because they had been playing super heroes and he had that white handkerchief around his neck.&uot;

Fire and rescue personnel arrived at the scene; however, Recor had already begun working on the child. It is she whom Julia Tolson credits with saving Joey’s life. She said he had actually swallowed water, inhaling it also into his lungs. He was unresponsive when Recor first pulled him out, but she was soon able to revive him by helping him expel the water.

&uot;Rose isn’t my biological sister, but one of the closest friends you could ever ask for,&uot; said Tolson. &uot;Ironically enough, I babysat Rose when she was a child and now she has saved my child. I believe that what goes around comes around. If Rose hadn’t been here….&uot;

Recor has two years nurse’s training and it was probably that training that saved Joey’s life, Tolson added.

&uot;It was her knowledge of what to do and her quick response that saved Joey. I’ve seen her do the Heimlich maneuver before, and with Joey she jumped into action. I want to keep her here on the farm from now on, to help with the horses as well with Joey. Her nursing and CPR training is invaluable. I’m an assistant leader with the Suffolk Reiners 4-H Horse and Pony Club, and Rose Recor is a wonderful asset to the farm. She’s a graduating senior at Churchland High School this year.&uot;

Recor said she didn’t stop to think about the situation, but instead ran to pit to get him out.

&uot;I saw the handkerchief and yanked it up to get him out,&uot; she said. &uot;I took him into the house to shower the black stuff – probably algae – off and he began coughing. The squad came and told me I’d done a good job with him, but what else would you do when someone you love… I love Joey to death, and I would have been ready to tear myself apart if something had happened to him. I did what any person would do.&uot;

Recor plans to attend college next year, studying medicine.