Off-duty nurse called a hero for saving 8-year-old girl's life at local pool

Megan McGarity and 8-year-old Jaleah. (Photo: Courtesy Megan McGarity)
Megan McGarity and 8-year-old Jaleah. (Photo: Courtesy Megan McGarity)

An Atlanta nurse who was off-duty and relaxing at her apartment complex’s pool is being hailed as a hero after leaping into action to save a young girl’s life.

As the local Fox 5 affiliate reports, Megan McGarity, who is a registered nurse in the respiratory unit at the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) pediatric hospital, was hanging out at her apartment complex’s pool when disaster struck.

According to a Facebook post by CHOA, an 8-year-old girl named Jaleah — her last name has not been revealed — suddenly fell off her pool float and into the water. Jaleah’s father rushed to pull her out, but McGarity noticed that the the girl was limp and foaming at the mouth.


Fortunately, McGarity had just completed CPR training. Her life-saving instincts kicked in, and she took action.

“She rushed over to perform CPR,” according to CHOA’s post. “Jaleah had no detectable pulse. After three rounds of CPR, she finally gasped for air.”

The child was taken to a local hospital and has since recovered. She’s also reunited with McGarity, who met up with Jaleah on Monday to grab some ice cream and talk about cheerleading and video games.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” CHOA’s post reads.

The medical center is sharing the story to raise awareness about pool safety and the importance of being vigilant.

“It only takes a second,” the post reads. “As we head into the final stretch of summer, don’t let your guard down. It can and does happen in an instant. Not all such stories have a happy ending.”

As for McGarity, she is also expressing her gratitude at being able to help.

“Words cannot begin to express how amazing it was to see this beautiful girl’s smiling face,” she captioned a sweet selfie with Jaleah. 

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