EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

July 18, 2013

Landscaper saves toddler who fell into pool

Nashua man was in the right place at the right time

By John Toole
jtoole@eagletribune.com

---- — WINDHAM — Matthew Pulomena heard the mother’s cry for help next door, saw the child on her shoulder and took off running.

“There was no hesitation or any hiccups,” Pulomena said. “I just took off and did my thing.”

His thing was CPR.

The 3-year-old boy had come out of a pool at 6 Sharon Road and wasn’t breathing.

Pulomena, 24, of Nashua was working with a crew from Design Works of Hudson, building a basketball court at the McLaughlin home at 8 Sharon Road.

“I heard the mom yelling for help,” he said. “I took off running and jumped the fence.”

Windham Fire Department didn’t immediately release the name of the youngster or his family.

Pulomena said the boy’s name is Connor.

Town tax records identify the owners of the home as Ronald and Kathryn St. Laurent.

Pulomena said he felt for a pulse.

“There was no pulse,” he said, “so I started CPR.”

Moments passed, then Connor coughed up water.

Windham firefighters arrived and took Connor to Parkland Medical Center in Derry. He was later transferred to Elliot Hospital in Manchester.

An Elliot spokesman said Connor was being evaluated yesterday afternoon.

“I’m very happy to hear the boy is OK,” said Teresa McLaughlin, future owner of the basketball court.

Design Works foreman Bill Dufault was on the job with Pulomena.

“He’s the kind of guy who matters. He would give you the shirt off his back,” Dufault said. “I was not surprised for a millisecond at how he reacted. He is one of the best.”

Pulomena may get a chance to practice this rescue business in his future.

He said he wants to be a firefighter and picked up the CPR knowledge through the Belmont Fire Department.

Chief Tom McPherson said the accident is still under investigation.

It happened about 11:15 a.m.

He said it was unclear how the boy got into the pool. It is an above-ground pool with a deck.