Touching photo captures paramedic comforting girl, 3, after she nearly drowned at water park

The Florida paramedic who helped rescue a 3-year-old girl after she was found floating in a water park pool on Saturday went the extra mile for his young patient, and continued to comfort her while they waited for her parents to arrive at the hospital.

Doug Higley, of the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue, was pictured sitting by her bedside at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in a photo that has gone viral.

“She was crying for her mom,” Higley told WTSP. “Very nervous and upset obviously with the unknown situation. I tried to comfort her as best I could. I asked her what Disney princesses and who she liked and if she had a favorite.”

In a Facebook post accompanying the photo, the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue reported that the girl, who was not identified in reports or by the squad, was awake and doing well.

The girl had wandered off while being watched by her 13-year-old sister and was discovered in the lazy river area of Splash Harbour Water Park in Indian Rocks Beach, ABC Action News reported.


She was spotted by a lifeguard who began CPR, Higley and another Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue paramedic, who was off-duty but at the park for his niece’s birthday, jumped in to help. Her parents were unable to ride in the ambulance with her, so Higley remained by her side.

“It is an amazing outcome for what is all too often a tragic one,” the Pinellas Suncoast Fire and Rescue post said.