CHOA nurse hailed a hero for saving 8-year-old girl

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A Children's Healthcare of Atlanta nurse is being praised for her heroic efforts to save an 8-year-old girl. 

Megan McGarity, a nurse in CHOA's respiratory unit, was at the pool at an apartment complex when 8-year-old Jaleah nearly drowned. According to CHOA, Jaleah was on a float when she suddenly fell into the water. 

"Her dad hopped in to help her, but something was wrong," CHOA said. "She wasn't moving and white foam was forming at her mouth." 

Thankfully, Megan had just completed CPR training and knew just what to do, springing into action when she saw Jaleah's dad carrying her limp body out of the pool. 

"She rushed over to perform CPR," CHOA said. "Jaleah had no detectable pulse. After three rounds of CPR, she finally gasped for air."

Jaleah was taken to Egleston, where she made a full recovery. 

On Monday, Megan reunited with Jaleah and her family for the first time since the pool incident. 

"There wasn't a dry eye in the house," CHOA said, sharing a photo of Megan and Jaleah on both Facebook and Instagram. "It only takes a second. As we head into the final stretch of summer, don’t let your guard down. It can and does happen in an instant. Not all such stories have a happy ending."

Following their reunion, Megan and Jaleah went out for ice cream and bonded over their shared love of cheerleading and video games, CHOA said on Facebook. 

"The pair became fast friends and plan to stay in touch."