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Security & Safety Council Service Award Yadiel Machado


2023 - Third Quarter CFHLA Security & Safety Council Award Honoree - Life Saving, Yadiel Machado Walt Disney World Swan Reserve

On Thursday, February 22, 2023, Pool Attendant, Yadiel Machado, was staffing the towel hut at the Swan Reserve pool. The pool froze around him when he heard children screaming in distress and he looked up to see them pulling a convulsing child out of the pool.

Without a second thought Yadiel sprang into action and ran to the child's side. He saw the small boy convulsing and called for emergency services to assist. He introduced himself to the parents as CPR certified and asked to help their child; it was then that the six-year-old, Harrison, stopped breathing.

Yadiel immediately began CPR on the boy. Nothing else around him mattered, not the screaming parents nor other guests. Nothing phased Yadiel as he continued compressions and rescue breaths repeatedly. Never stopping, never giving up on the young boy even as he turned blue. He continued even as the child turned an unforgettable and horrific shade of purple. He persevered even through the gut-wrenching wails of Harrison’s mother and piteous weeping of his nearby sibling. Yadiel continued compressions not stopping, until finally, Harrison began to breath.

Yadiel barely breathed himself as he watched life return to little Harrison. He then worked to reassure the frantic family while focusing on the little boy. His efforts to relate to him while still making sure he remained responsive were unforgettable. He did not use medical terminology, he used encouraging and relatable words to help keep Harrison calm and engaged. "Show me how strong you are," Yadiel asked as he made a superhero arm for the child.

Harrison could barely respond to Yadiel despite his efforts. His body shook as he struggled to take in the world around and come to. Yadiel continued to talk to Harrison, though Harrison barely even knew he was there. All the while his siblings, parents, and guests looked in abject terror that Harrison could still be lost to us again.

It was not until EMS arrived that Yadiel took a step back. The trauma of the event finally overcoming him emotionally as he leaned on his managers shoulder, just before he was rushed by guests and leaders praising him for his efforts. Through these praises he remained humble saying, “I just did what I needed to do.”

Harrison would not be with us today if Yadiel had not responded as he did. This story would have had a tragic end, and it is this knowledge that has bystanders repeatedly seeking out opportunities to praise him, as has us, as his leaders, doing everything we can to recognize him. Not just for performing CPR, but for managing the chaos around him with unwavering calm.