Humble hero shaken by girl’s near drowning

By KATE REARDON

Herald Writer

EVERETT — Ron Thorp helped save a 2-year-old girl who fell into an outside pool at a motel near the Everett Mall.

The reality of what happened about noon Sunday hit him hours later on his way home to Langley on Whidbey Island.

"I was on the ferry and started crying," he said Monday. "To see them little brown eyes open and staring at you. All I see is that pretty little face. I’m feeling a little shook up over it."

The girl was in good condition and was released from an Everett hospital Monday, a nursing supervisor said.

The child wandered from her father and was quickly found floating face down in a pool, Everett Fire Department spokesman Ed Oas said.

She apparently got into the fenced-off area and crawled onto the pool cover, he said.

Thorp, 40, said he was visiting a friend at the hotel in the 1600 block of SE Everett Mall Way when he heard a man screaming for help.

"I just didn’t know what was going on," he said, and then he looked out the door and saw a man "flinging her around like a Raggedy Ann doll."

Then, Thorp said, he joined efforts with a woman who began cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the girl.

"She was a maid who worked there, and she did the two breaths of air," Thorp said. "I looked at her and said if we’re going to do this, you’re going to breathe twice, and I’ll do the five compressions."

It wasn’t until about three minutes later that Thorp said they heard little gasps out of the girl. That’s when Everett paramedics arrived and gave the girl oxygen.

"They got her into the ambulance where it was warm," Thorp said. "She was bawling and I said to myself, ‘cry, baby, cry.’ "

Thorp, who has taken CPR classes consistently for the past several years, said he wants everyone to become trained in it.

"Everybody needs to take this," he said. "You may never need it, but thank God I knew what I needed to do."

On Monday, Thorp was back at work as a machine operator.

"Everybody wants to quote me as a hero, but I don’t feel like a hero," he said. "I feel like her guardian angel. I wasn’t going to let her go. I wasn’t going to let her die."

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