Student Honored for Saving Child’s Life at Pool

From left: Michael Lawn, Watertown police chief, John Stewart and Sgt. Sheila Grady-Duguay at the Aug. 14 presentation of Stewart’s award for saving an 11-year-old boy at the Oakley Country Club pool.
From left: Michael Lawn, Watertown police chief, John Stewart and Sgt. Sheila Grady-Duguay at the Aug. 14 presentation of Stewart’s award for saving an 11-year-old boy at the Oakley Country Club pool.

UMass Amherst student John Stewart, 19, of Belmont can add life-saver to his resume.

On Aug. 14 Stewart was honored by the Watertown police for his rescue of an 11-year-old boy at the Oakley Country Club pool on June 11. He recalls that it was a hot 92-degree day. Stewart, who is an American Red Cross certified lifeguard, says his attention was drawn to activity in the shallow end of the pool and when he rushed to the scene saw a dad cradling his young son. The boy looked limp and his eyes were rolled back into his head.

Stewart says he took the boy and laid him down onto the pool deck. “Once I concluded that this little boy had ingested a deadly amount of water I commenced CPR based on my Red Cross training,” he says. After two rigorous rounds of CPR the boy began throwing-up the ingested water and slowly started to open his eyes.” The boy survived and his parents report he is doing well.

Stewart says the event was a true turning point in his life.

He says the parents of the boy have contacted him multiple times to check his well-being after the stressful experience.

Stewart says he has worked at the club as a lifeguard for the past four summers and teaches both tennis and swimming.

Stewart and his family have strong ties to the UMass Amherst campus. He is a finance major at the Isenberg School of Management. His twin sister Sarah is a marketing major at ISOM and his brother Scott will be a senior majoring in accounting.