Philly boy who was attacked by a crocodile in Cancun appeared on Good Morning America

There are countless odd shapes and forms that a vacation from hell can take for a family simply looking to enjoy an escape from the daily grind.

She’d be hard-pressed to imagine an even more horrifying sentence than the one passed on to Jennifer Paul about her son on June 18, when she and her family were on a trip to visit Mexico from Philadelphia.

“Jennifer, I think your son was attacked by a crocodile,” a guest at Club Med, a Mexican all-inclusive resort in Cancun, told her.

Charlie Poole, 12, was hit by a 13-foot alligator while playing a game of hide-and-seek on the pool deck that leads into a lake at the resort. The reptile had grabbed his leg from a staircase and pulled him into the water, beginning a frantic rescue effort that required hitting and stroking the crocodile’s eyes.

Charlie’s lower leg was badly damaged in the attack and at risk of amputation. The surgeon told his family that in the confrontation with the crocodile and the subsequent surgery to repair his limb, Charlie lost nearly half of his blood.

The Pohl stayed in Cancun for four weeks while Charlie underwent several surgeries and antibiotic treatment to prevent a bacterial infection.

On Wednesday, Charlie and his mother appeared on “good morning americaTo talk about the accident and their way to recovery.

Jennifer Paul, professional head photographer, She shared the horrific details of her son’s attack In a lengthy blog post on her website last month. I wrote about the supernatural power of prayer and the selfless heroism of the many resort guests and staff who helped save Charlie.

Pohl also lamented the stir up of media reports in the aftermath of the attack, many of which missed key details and wrongly claimed Charlie had lost a leg. Pohl’s painstaking account of that night is the most reliable glimpse into the horror of the experience, but one of the most harrowing descriptions came from a 13-year-old boy named Cyrus, who was hiding with Charlie on the steps of the deck leading up to it. to the lake:

“Suddenly, Charlie was no longer sitting next to me,” said Cyrus. “I looked at him and saw him in the water and thought he had fallen in.” A little girl who was playing hide and seek with them passed by. Charlie remembers looking at her and saying, “Please help me. She left,” Charlie says, “you’ll probably go get help.” Cyrus says he grabbed Charlie’s arm: “I tried to pull him back, but then I realized something was pulling on him.” Charlie remembers holding the stairs with his hands and trying to get himself out of the water. Charlie was screaming, “This hurts! Please help me!” Cyrus was screaming, too. Crocodile pulled Charlie and took under him. Cyrus remembers Charlie struggling to get up afterward, and Charlie remembers trying to grab the stairs again. Cyrus grabbed his arm again, and again the boys screamed for help.

Months after the accident, Charlie was able to walk in a gait manner and showed consistent signs of improvement. The scars will remain on his leg for the rest of his life, a reminder of his horrific brush with death.

Paul said there had been a worrying pattern of crocodile attacks at resorts along the Mexican coast in recent months, including three in the area around Cancun in the month before the Charlie attack.

In July, a month after Charlie’s incident at Club Med, an 18-year-old California woman was Crocodile dragged into the water He was seriously injured during a trip at the Marriott resort in Puerto Vallarta. And earlier this month, a 24-year-old man from Texas I was attacked by another crocodile While on vacation in Nuevo Vallarta.

The rise in crocodile attacks is partly attributed to the flooding of rivers that allowed the animals to move away from their habitats. But Pohl also points out on her blog that crocodiles are protected and seem to have reproduced in the absence of an accurate count. It is forbidden to remove crocodiles from the Nichupte Lagoon, which runs from one side of Cancun to the other adjacent to the hotel area.

Reporting of crocodile attacks can be inconsistent, and although considered extremely rare, the Global Crocodile Attacks Database estimates Nearly 1,000 people were killed by crocodiles every year. They usually attack when their territories and nests are threatened, when they are hungry or when they have become too comfortable with the people who are feeding them.

Paul later learns that alligators may nest in a dry area under the pool at Club Med, where the reptiles are often spotted and sometimes fed by resort guests.

One of the most disturbing details in Pohl’s account is that before Charlie’s attack, people regularly went water skiing in the lake. There were no signs installed to warn of crocodiles and there was no lock in the gate to the sidewalk stairs where Charlie was attacked.

In the hours after Charlie was taken out of the water, guests could see an alligator waiting by the pier.

Buhl was told that Club Med Cancún invested $200,000 to secure the area around the lake with guards and signage. Water skiing has been permanently suspended at the resort, but Club Med still doesn’t warn guests of the danger of crocodiles when they arrive.

“The safety and security of our guests and staff is our top priority,” the resort told ABC News. “Club Med Cancún has enhanced the area around the lake by increasing the number of signage and lighting and installing taller fencing to further protect the safety of our guests and staff from the surrounding lake.”

Pohl said the resort is committed to paying all of Charlies’ medical expenses.

“I think Club Med acted really with honor and responsibility,” Pohl said in an interview with Good Morning America.

In the meantime, Charlie did his best to maintain the survivor’s positive attitude and find ways to highlight the situation now that he’s out of the way.

“For Halloween, two of my friends and I are building this giant alligator that will fit the three of us and is 16 feet tall,” said Paul. “They think it’s cool.”

If this costume happens to be out on Halloween, it will be safe to feed the monster a few extra sweet treats.


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