Duluth hotel employee lauded for rescuing drowning toddlerAbby Shubat’s duties as the director of guest services at the Inn on Lake Superior do not normally bring her through the Canal Park hotel’s pool area.
Abby Shubat’s duties as the director of guest services at the Inn on Lake Superior do not normally bring her through the Canal Park hotel’s pool area.
But, for some reason she said she can’t explain, she was inclined to walk through the area on the afternoon of April 29. There, she found a 2-year-old girl lying unconscious in the hotel’s hot tub.
“I think somebody was here that day looking upon her and made me come in here,” she said. “It’s not part of my usual day-to-day rounds to come in here.”
Shubat said she jumped in and pulled the girl out. She administered CPR while yelling for coworkers to call 911. By the time paramedics arrived,
the girl had regained consciousness, and she has since made a full recovery.
For her efforts to save the girl, Shubat was recognized with the American Heart Association’s Heartsaver Hero Award on Monday, the three-week
anniversary of the incident.
The award is presented to individuals who save a life through the use of lifesaving skills such as CPR. The award is normally given through a nomination process.
Shubat, 25, said she was just doing her job.
“It’s honoring, but I don’t really consider myself a hero,” she said. “It’s humbling. I hope that I can set an example for other people.”
Tom Skull, the corporate events director for the American Heart Association in Duluth, said the award has existed nationwide for about 10 years, but it’s the first one to be presented locally. Rather than waiting to receive a nomination, Skull said he and fellow AHA staff members made the call to present Shubat with the award.
“We heard the story on the news and decided she should receive the award,” he said. “Unfortunately, it’s common for kids to get hurt around the pool. Parents turn away for a split second and they can go into the hot tub. So often there is no one there that can save them.”
Less than 12 percent of sudden cardiac arrest victims survive, but effective CRP from bystanders can double or triple that rate, according to American Heart Association statistics. However, only 41
percent of victims get CPR, according to the statistics.
The toddler that Shubat rescued was staying with her parents and an older sibling in a room directly across the hall from the pool area. The family was visiting from Ontario, Canada. The girl apparently wandered out of the room and fell into the hot tub before the parents could realize she was gone.
An incident summary released by the St. Louis County Sheriff’s office confirms that a 2-year-old girl fell in the hot tub and that a hotel staff member and the girl’s parents started and maintained CPR until responders arrived on the scene.
Shubat and other Inn on Lake Superior employees receive CPR certification as part of regular training.
“I always knew it was important to have CPR skills,” she said. “I just always hoped I’d never have to use it.”
Nikki Anderson, the hotel’s general manager, said CPR is something all hotels should take seriously. Every hotel encounters situations where the skills are needed, she said.
“You can’t take these things for granted,” she said. “I’m really proud of Abby for her quick actions. She was in the right place at the right time and used her training.”
Stephen Shaner, a manager at HealthPartners in Duluth, presented the Heartsaver Hero Award to Shubat in front of her coworkers Monday. Shaner, who is also serving as the chairman of the American Heart Association’s Northland Heart Walk this year, said he was impressed by Shubat’s story.
“Too many times the result isn’t the same. You always hear about the bad endings,” he said. “It’s very important for people to have CPR training and
know what to do in that situation.”
Shubat said she last heard from the child and parents the day after the incident. The girl stayed overnight at the hospital, but the parents visited with her the next day to express their gratitude.
“They came and talked to me the next day and they were so grateful,” Shubat said. “It’s a really good feeling.”