Family reunites with first-responders who saved daughter’s life

| August 12, 2016 | 0 Comments
The West family is surrounded by all the people who were involved in the rescue of Taylor West in a near drowning incident at the Hale Koa Hotel in early July. The first responders pictured include: members of the Hale Koa Hotel staff, Military Police, members of the Honolulu Police and Fire Departments, members of the C&C Emergency Medical Services, and of course Kylie Doyal.

The West family is surrounded by all the people who were involved in the rescue of Taylor West in a near drowning incident at the Hale Koa Hotel in early July. The first responders pictured include: members of the Hale Koa Hotel staff, Military Police, members of the Honolulu Police and Fire Departments, members of the C&C Emergency Medical Services, and Kylie Doyal.

 

Larry Reilly, Director
Installation Management Command-Pacific Region
Public Affairs

FORT DERUSSY — For the West family, being able to meet and thank the people responsible for saving their daughter’s life was all they wanted to do before leaving Hawaii on a permanent change of station move.

In early July, 7-year-old Taylor West was swimming with friends in the Hale Koa Hotel’s swimming pool when she lost consciousness and sank to the bottom of the pool. Her best friend, Kylie Doyal noticed Taylor at the bottom of the pool and thought she was just playing around, but when she swam down to check on her, Kylie realized something was wrong and yelled for the lifeguards.

“I was really scared when I went to check on Taylor because she did not respond when I touched her, so I yelled for the lifeguard and helped him get Taylor out of the pool,” said 14-year-old Kylie Doyal.

Hale Koa lifeguard Reid Novelich and Doyal were able to get Taylor to the pool deck where he began CPR. Seconds later, lifeguard Melissa Giammona and hotel assistant manager Brandon Solidum arrived and initiated the automatic external defibrillator, and then switched off with Reid to continue performing CPR until professional responders from the County Emergency Medical Services and the Honolulu Police and Fire departments arrived on scene.

“When I reached Taylor at the bottom of the pool, she was limp and unconscious, and I knew I needed to get her out of the pool fast and administer CPR, “ said Novelich. “It was the quick action of the entire hotel staff to activate the swimming pool’s emergency response action plan, and the Military Police who helped secure the area for the medical people that really enabled Taylor to be attended to quickly and transported to the hospital.”

Taylor was transported to the Kapiolani Women’s and Children’s Hospital just down the street from the hotel, and was stabilized and later transferred to the Tripler Army Medical Center.

From the time Taylor was taken from the pool to when she was sent to the hospital, her parents – Sgt. Thomas West, 8th Special Troops Battalion, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, and his wife Laura – and their son Preston were by her side.

Grateful and emotional hug Taylor West, bottom, gets an emotional hug from Kylie Doyal, who in turn gets a grateful hug from TaylorÕs Dad, Sgt. Thomas West, during the reunion session in mid-July the West family was able to have with all the people who assisted in TaylorÕs near drowning rescue at the Hale Koa Hotel in early July.

Grateful and emotional hug Taylor West gets an emotional hug from Kylie Doyal, who in turn gets a grateful hug from Taylor’s Dad, Sgt. Thomas West, during the reunion session in mid-July the West family was able to have with all the people who assisted in Taylor’s near drowning rescue at the Hale Koa Hotel in early July.

“Things happened so fast. It was difficult keeping up with everything and everybody. The Hale Koa team and the MPs were so efficient and caring in their handling of Taylor and securing the area for the medical, fire and police personal,” said Laura West.

Throughout the month of July, Taylor went through a series of tests and examinations at TAMC. As Taylor showed increasing signs of improvement, her parents kept the Hale Koa Hotel staff informed via emails of her progress and were surprised by a telephone call they received from the hotel staff.

“Kelley Hupp, director of Resort Operations at the Hale Koa Hotel, called us midway through the month and asked if we would like to meet all the people who were involved in Taylor’s rescue. We happily agreed,” said Laura West. “Being able to personally meet and thank each and every one of the people involved in the incident was very emotional for all of us, especially Taylor, who didn’t remember any of them, except Kaylie, but she knew they played a part in her rescue.”

Taylor was cleared by the doctors this past weekend to leave Hawaii for Wisconsin where her father’s next duty assignment will be as an Army recruiter.

“The question of how this could have happened may never be answered, but the fact that it can happen to anyone’s child is a big take away for me,” said Laura West. “The people who reacted so swiftly and so professionally truly did save our daughter’s life. We will never be able to thank them enough.”

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Category: Leadership, News

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