Emergency medical training paid off this week when a Navy veteran and sometime political candidate revived an 8-year-old boy pulled from a hotel pool who wasn’t breathing.
Ben Loyola, a defense contractor who has run unsuccessfully for Congress and state Senate, was leaving the Crowne Plaza Virginia Beach Town Center hotel around 9:30 p.m. Thursday after dropping off his parents, who are visiting from out of town, when he was jolted into action by a group of youngsters screaming for help.
He found a young boy lying beside the hotel pool, lifeless and purple. “There was no breathing; he was gone,” Loyola said.
He shouted for someone to call 911, then used resuscitation techniques to revive the boy.
Crowne Plaza General Manager Mark Smith said the victim and his family – he didn’t identify them – are staying at a nearby sister property and, as guests, had access to the hotel pool.
“The good news is, it’s just a happy ending,” Smith said.
Loyola said he went through CPR training at the U.S. Naval Academy, then refreshed his skills a few years ago.
Rescue personnel took the boy to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, where he was treated for a bruise to the head resulting from a fall, a spokesman said. It was unclear how the fall occurred.
Loyola, an aviator in the Navy, was relieved to hear that the boy had been discharged when he spoke to hospital staff.
“I was tired and kind of exhausted emotionally, and that’s when I broke down and started crying.”
“It was amazing. CPR training works.”
Pilot writer Amy Jeter contributed to this report.
Julian Walker, 804-697-1564, firstname.lastname@example.org