Hough diver saves child at community pool
by Staff Writer
by Alyssa Lang
When 15-year-old Blair Timberlake began her first day as a lifeguard, she doubted she would do more than put a bandage on a child. A little more than an hour later, she found herself fighting to save a young boy’s life.
At 4:08 p.m. June 2, 7-year-old Tyqual Seaburn was with his grandmother at the Tanners Creek neighborhood pool, when he was scooped out of the deep-end. He wasn’t breathing and he had no pulse. The next few minutes were a blur for Timberlake, but one thing was certain; she was not going to let anyone die that day.
Timberlake first knew something was wrong when she saw several people gathering around the deep end of the pool.
“I started to get off my stand when a random mom started screaming and jumped into the pool,” Timberlake said. “I started running and trying to rip everything I had off of me and it wasn’t working. I ran to the edge of the pool and a mom handed me Tyqual who was not breathing, and unconscious.”
She cannot clearly remember what happened after that. All she knows is that she laid the boy down and immediately began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. While people around the pool area were hysterical, Timberlake and her fellow lifeguards, Alyssa Bensky and Mason Gainey, remained calm.
After a long four minutes of CPR, Tyqual finally began to breathe. He was with paramedics by 4:27 p.m., but Timberlake was prepared to continue giving mouth-to-mouth until help came, however long it might have been.
“I didn’t really know what I was doing,” Timberlake said. “I was just like, this kid has to breathe. He’s not dying here today.
“It’s kind of nice to know that if I’m in that type of situation, I know what to do,” she said.
Staying calm in a high-stress environment is nothing new for Timberlake. A sophomore at Hough High School, she is a member of the Huskies diving team, and was the state diving champion. She was a key component in bringing Hough its first team state championship.
“In diving, I have fear with the heights and stuff, but I put it aside,” she said. “So I think that helped me stay calm in this situation, instead of freaking out and choking up.”
Her diving coach, Timothy Queen, has no doubt that the attitude and composure she shows on the diving board played into the events from June 2.
“She is a strong-willed competitor with a can-do attitude,” Queen said. “I am sure the focus she has on the diving board helped her stay calm when she needed to care for the young man involved in the water accident.”
As of June 6, thanks to Timberlake’s heroic efforts and cool head, Tyqual was perfectly healthy and back at school. The families have been in contact and intend to get together for a less stressful encounter.
There is no doubt that Timberlake will carry this memory with her for the rest of her life, whether it’s on the diving board or the lifeguard stand. And now, not only will she be prepared to put a bandage on a child, but perhaps save another life, too.