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Tewksbury toddler saved from pool drowning thanks to help of local dispatcher

  • Ava Jones, 11, of South Carolina, rescued her 2-year-old brother from drowning after he fell into her aunt and uncle’s pool in Tewksbury on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. The boy is expected to make a full recovery.

  • Dispatcher Rebecca Maccaro and Kevin Lessard, executive director of the Northern Middlesex Regional Emergency Communications Center answer questions from reporters on July 6, 2021.

  • Ava Jones, 11, and her uncle Rob Hamilton rescued Jones’s 2-year-old brother from drowning after he fell into Hamilton’s pool in Tewksbury on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. The boy is expected to make a full recovery.

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TEWKSBURY — Ava Jones had only taken her eyes off of her 2-year-old brother for a few seconds Tuesday to help her family clean up the house, but it was enough time for the toddler to push open the back door, walk across the deck and fall into the pool.

After spotting him floating face-down a few moments later, Ava, 11, jumped down from the deck and pulled her brother out, screaming for help until her uncle Rob Hamilton came outside and moved his blue body over to a patch of grass near the front of the house.

Ava’s mother then called 911 and connected with dispatcher Rebecca Maccaro of the Northern Middlesex Regional Emergency Communication Center, who sent authorities to their home on Harrison Road and began directing Hamilton through performing CPR on the child.

A few minutes later, with the help of Maccaro, Hamilton successfully resuscitated the boy just as first responders arrived. He has since been taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Ava Jones, 11, and her uncle Rob Hamilton rescued Jones’s 2-year-old brother from drowning after he fell into Hamilton’s pool in Tewksbury on Tuesday, July 6, 2021. The boy is expected to make a full recovery.

“We were just lucky. It was a beautiful outcome,” Hamilton said. “Rebecca’s information helped us immensely.”

“Rebecca told us what to do, and she really helped us a lot and I want to thank her,” Ava added. “I’m so glad that my brother is better.”

The incident unfolded around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, just a couple of weeks after a 1-year-old boy drowned in his family’s pool in Wrentham.

While Hamilton and Ava praised Maccaro for helping them save the boy, Maccaro said that she was merely doing her job and that she was fortunate to be supported by her fellow dispatchers as the event transpired.

“It was just lucky, just luck,” Maccaro said. “This is my job, I’m here to help people. And some days you can save people and some days you can’t, and today we — the team of us, my partners — were able to all work together, so today it just worked for us. Today was a good day.”

Dispatcher Rebecca Maccaro and Kevin Lessard, executive director of the Northern Middlesex Regional Emergency Communications Center answer questions from reporters on July 6, 2021.

Hamilton also said he was incredibly proud of his niece, calling the 11-year-old a “little hero” for reacting so quickly and pulling her brother out of the pool.

“She’s unbelievable,” he said. “We’re going to think about this for a long time, and I think the family is going to be closer. We’re elated.”

Ava and her family were visiting Tewksbury from their home in South Carolina.