A TAMWORTH man has been hailed a hero after diving into a pool at a Thai holiday resort and helping save the life of a dying boy.
Troy Gross was relaxing around the pool with partner Rachel Deane at the Phuket resort last Friday when he heard the ear-splitting cries for help of the boy’s mum.
Acting on instinct, the Tamworth police officer ripped off his shirt and dived to the bottom of the pool to scoop up the motionless five-year-old.
“He was just limp, he wasn’t breathing and I knew straight away from his colour that he had drowned,” Mr Gross, 39, said.
“Everyone was staring and my heart was going a million miles an hour but I knew there was only once chance of saving him.”
After performing five minutes of CPR, Mr Gross felt a pulse but could still hear water gurgling in the Chinese boy’s lungs.
The boy lay unconscious but alive on the cement for a further 15 minutes until an ambulance arrived.
“Finally, he moved one of his fingers and let out a little cry,” Mr Gross said.
“It was just such an amazing relief.”
Mr Gross and Ms Deane had an emotional reunion with the boy the following night at a local restaurant.
“It was an incredible moment, with lots of hugs,” Ms Deane said.
“We exchanged contact details and will continue to remain in contact with them.
“The little boy spent the evening sneaking up on us, giggling, running laps around our dinner table and smiling at us. It was beautiful to watch.”
She said Mr Gross had become an instant celebrity at the resort, with guests shaking his hand, bowing to him and expressing their gratitude.
The couple, who have a young son of their own, said the experience had reinforced to them the importance of CPR.
“All parents should learn it, it’s that simple,” Ms Deane said.
“When the boy was drowning, everyone was just standing around and if not for Troy, he would have died.”
Mr Gross, a constable with Tamworth Police, said his job – and the fact his father used to manage the city pool – had helped him remain calm in the crisis.