June 10 is not a date Mark Alderson will soon forget. It’s the day he took his two daughters to Splash Island for some fun in the sun, and ended up in the hospital for two weeks after surviving a drowning.
Alderson, a Greenwood resident, returned to Splash Island Friday to visit with the staff and thank those who helped save his life.
“Thank you to all of you,” he said. “If it wasn’t for your quick response, I would not be here today.”
He told employees he had developed a problem with medication he had been taking for more than three years.
“I was having problems getting dizzy,” he said. “The medications started interacting differently, but it wasn’t until I drowned and died that we found it. My health is much better now.”
While being pulled from the pool, Alderson’s rotator cuff was torn and will require surgery. He also suffered four broken ribs.
“We know you were doing it right because you broke some of my ribs,” he said. “But they are healing well and I am so thankful you were here.”
Lifeguard Shelby Partin was the first Splash Island employee to see that Alderson was in trouble. She took time to visit with Alderson — greeting him with a big hug.
“I promise I was not the one who tore your rotator cuff,” she joked. “I pulled you up out of the water but two other ladies pulled him out of the pool.”
Partin, 20, has been a pool employee for three years. She is a 2010 Ben Davis High School graduate and is attending St. Mary of the Woods College. The Westside resident said she never thought she would save a person’s life.
“This is kind of crazy,” she said. “It was really scary. He looks so much better than the last time we saw him.”
Plainfield EMS arrived at the pool and transported him to Hendricks Regional Health. He was later moved to Methodist Hospital.
“For some reason my heart was being stubborn,” Alderson said. “It was touch-and-go.”
Decatur Township resident Isaac Hart is a pool supervisor at Splash Island and has been working there for eight years.
“I didn’t see him until he was out of the pool,” Hart said. “He was laying there gray and lifeless.”
He said at first he went into panic mode but then immediately kicked into action and began CPR. Hart was doing chest compressions.
“You think, I can do this — we train for this all the time,” he said. “I think we did CPR for six minutes and then EMS arrived. I thought they would take over but they told me to keep doing what I was doing and they would work around me.”
Hart said it was very nice to see Alderson alive and well.
“This is so good for our morale,” he said. “He’s here talking with us and joking with us. It will be good for closure.”
A large portion of the pool employees were present for the special reunion. Nate Thorne, deputy director of Plainfield Parks & Recreation, took the opportunity to encourage them and thank them for their hard work and dedication.
“This is a really good example of our teamwork,” Thorne said. “All of us can have an effect on what happens. And this is why we do training.”
Splash Island has had 125,000 visitors this summer, and there were 2,000 people on the pool deck the day of the incident.
“That was a busy day but we all responded well,” Thorne said. “I can’t thank the EMS and fire department enough. The police department chaplains were also here that day. It was hard until we got some feedback on how he was doing.”
He thanked Alderson for taking time to come back to Plainfield and for giving them an update on his condition. He told the staff they should be proud.
“This is profound,” Thorne said. “You made such a difference in his life. His daughters still have a dad. This should help build your confidence and you should be proud.”