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Daughter, 9, saves dad's life after brutal pool accident on family holiday

The family had to ask the public for help after their travel insurance reportedly refused to cough up due to a very small technicality.

A nine-year-old girl has been praised for saving her dad’s life after he “banged his head severely” on the bottom of a swimming pool while on an annual family holiday.

Chris Faloon, 37, was spending time with his daughter Eva and son James, 11, at the pool in Portugal on August 6 when he dove into the water head-first, breaking his back, his sister Catherine said in an online fundraising campaign created to help with medical costs.

The simple accident turned into a “nightmare” as Eva watched her dad, who is a former lifeguard, lose “all control of his body”.

Chrissy Faloon in hospital with a neck brace on and at a pool with his son in 2018. Source: GoFundMe/Facebook
Chris Faloon's daughter has been credited with saving his life after the dad hit his head on the bottom of a pool while on holiday. Source: GoFundMe/Facebook

“He was drowning,” she explained. “Thankfully Chrissy regularly teaches his kids lifesaving skills but never did he think he would have to rely on his little princess to come to his rescue.”

Catherine said Eva “saved Chris's life” by flipping him over so he could breathe while his son ran off to alert his uncle Ricky, who was also on the trip, for help.

The 37-year-old dad from Northern Ireland was rushed to hospital in “excruciating pain”, with an MRI scan later revealing he had broken five vertebra, Catherine said.

Newspaper front page showing the fundraiser.
The family had to turn to the public for help after the accident. Source: Ballymena Guardian

Bizarre reason holiday insurance voided

Despite his serious condition, his family claim Chris's insurance for “accidental damage has failed him” by voiding his claim “due to not declaring a minor historical injury”.

Th Ballymena Guardian reports the dad didn’t declare a broken ankle from 14-years-ago and other medication issues. The family say they cannot afford the treatment and rehabilitation costs and were ultimately forced to turn to their community for help.

“The injury has no relevance to a broken back — where is their duty of care to a family man who has done the right thing taking insurance out for his family holiday!” Catherine complained. “He requires urgent treatment and the state hospital is advising it could take 3 to 4 weeks for them to operate and he needs the operation sooner.”

Their local MP, Ian Paisley, has stepped in to support the family, contacting the insurance company himself. “My heart goes out to Chris and his family and I will continue to get them all the help that they need,” he posted on Facebook.

In an update on Wednesday, Chris's sister revealed her brother was no closer to getting the operation he needs in Portugal because of hospital overcrowding. The family are now in contact with a medical aviation team and doctors have deemed him fit to fly back home so he can undergo surgery sooner.

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