The Davis family of Canaan hadn’t planned to stay in Bangor on New Year’s Eve. Lola Davis, who works as an X-ray technician at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, had booked a room at the Fairfield Inn and Suites when she was scheduled to work the holiday for the regular X-ray unit, but she had since moved to the mammography unit and was no longer scheduled to work on New Year’s.

But she and her husband, Scott, decided to keep the room for the holiday and take their three daughters, Kyla, Brianna and Acelinn, to the hotel, which had a pool for them to play in.

What the family didn’t plan on was saving a life.

Five-year-old Brianna Davis was in the hotel’s hot tub with her parents around 9:45 p.m. Saturday when she stood up to cool off. In the pool, she saw a little girl who looked like she was lying down on the bottom.

“She said, ‘Daddy, is that girl supposed to be swimming like that or is she drowning?'” Scott Davis said in a phone interview Monday with him and his wife.

From there everything moved very quickly, he said.

“She was motionless,” Lola Davis said, “lying face up on the bottom of the pool.” Lola jumped in the pool and got the girl out with the help of her husband.

Another woman in the pool helped as well, but was holding her 2-year-old grandson at the same time.

The Davises got the little girl, who looked to be about 5, on the side of the pool. They said it was impossible to look at the girl, who was the same size as Brianna, and not think of their own children.

“I still had to do a double take and look at her face and look at her hair to make sure, OK, she’s not my daughter,” Lola said.

The girl’s lips were black, Scott said, and her eyes were open, glassy and staring straight up. Lola couldn’t find a pulse.

“I could picture — when I was holding her — my own daughter, and I just was waiting for her to take a breath,” Scott said.

The girl’s father, who Scott said had just been in the pool with the girl, was upset when he saw his daughter.

“I just remember the father had the little girl,” Lola said, “and he was just screaming and shaking her, saying, ‘Say something to me, please.’ I just remember saying, ‘We need to get her breathing. You need to lay her down.'”

Lola, who had just finished CPR training two months prior, began doing chest compressions and said she remembers a man shouting prayers over her shoulder. After she finished a set of compressions, the girl’s face twitched and she started to spit up pool water and could breathe, she said.

“I wasn’t feeling any pulse at all before that,” she said.

By the time Bangor police and Fire Department paramedics arrived, the girl was breathing and her color had returned. She was taken to the hospital and released on Monday.

Bangor Police gave Lola a “challenge coin,” which Sgt. Tim Cotton explained is something officers hand out to people who help the department in some way.

But both Lola and Scott said Brianna was the real hero.

“I really credit my 5-year-old though,” Scott said, “because had she not stepped up out of the hot tub, neither of us were really aware that (a girl) was at the bottom of the pool.”

Lola agreed, saying that if Brianna hadn’t said anything, “it could’ve been too late” by the time someone noticed the girl.

Lola said she was thankful that she knew CPR and was able to help and that the little girl lived.

“Honestly, I wasn’t very hopeful, just the way she looked when we pulled her out,” she said. “You can’t get that (image) out of your head.”

Scott, who goes scuba diving but does not have any rescue experience, said he was glad everything worked out — keeping the hotel room, Brianna standing up — so that they could help the parents “have their daughter for the new year,” although it was a traumatic experience.

“It made me feel good that we were there and were able to make a difference,” he said. “It’s not really something I’d want to go through again.”

Lola and Scott did not get the girl’s name or her parents’ information in the flurry before they left for the hospital, but Lola said they’re hoping that the parents call them.

“It definitely would bring closure if we got to see her again, you know, smiling,” she said.

Madeline St. Amour — 861-9239

[email protected]

Twitter: @madelinestamour


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