A quick-acting 12-year-old Hilliard girl helped save a 6-year-old boy who fell into the pool June 26 at the Hilliard Family Aquatic Center.
"My baby saved (another child)," Lori Hamilton said about her daughter, Alahna Hamilton, a rising seventh-grader at Hilliard Heritage Middle School.
Julia Baxter, Hilliard's director of human resources, confirmed the incident and said a lifeguard rescued the boy after Alahna helped with removing the boy from the pool.
The lifeguard saw the boy struggling to stay above water and entered the pool as Alahna also swam toward the boy, Baxter said.
Hamilton said her family members were passing a ball back and forth when Alahna noticed the boy's hand flailing above the water at the side of the pool. It appeared the clothed boy had fallen into the pool, she said.
"I was getting a ball that went behind me and when I turned to throw it, I saw Alahna swimming (toward) a clothed mother pointing into the water and could barely see splashing, and a little hand out coming out of the water," she said.
The boy's family and staff members at the pool told Alahna she was "called" to be a lifeguard in thanking her, Hamilton said.
"All I knew was that he needed help," Alahna said. "We were playing catch and I saw his hands. I knew he needed help and swam as fast I could."
"I don't think Alahna realizes how amazing her actions were," Hamilton said.