The weather is heating up here in Utah and that means a lot of time in or by water, but having little ones makes it a little stressful because you never know what could happen. I have always said it would be my worst nightmare if something were to happen at the pool and recently a friend posted on Facebook her recent experience.
I asked her if I could share this and she was more than supportive. She wants this out to as many people as possible because it can happen to anyone. So now, from her Facebook post, I share a parents worst nightmare:
We went to Bear Lake with our fabulous friends and stayed at their family cabin. For four days we took the kids to the community/neighborhood pool for hours and hours each day. The pool also has a restaurant next to it which was very convenient.
On the last day the plan was to swim all afternoon, order dinner to eat poolside, then head home. Shortly after 4pm I took Kenzie’s floaties off to take her to the bathroom. We got back poolside and she said she was hungry. We gave her a Rice Krispy treat and sat her on a chair by us. We started looking at the kids menu. It couldn’t have been 2-3 minutes when we heard screaming. I turned and saw a lady lifting Kenzie’s blue/gray lifeless body out of the pool (movies don’t get the coloring right….its way worse). We ran over (everything around me went silent but I think I was screaming “No!” over and over) and Shaun tipped her and started hitting her back – hard (the maneuver taught for choking/drowning infants) 2 blows between the shoulder blades, checked the airway (her jaw was locked)opened her mouth and continued.
After about 8 more blows she threw up a little water. And she showed the first sign of life, but she was still completely unresponsive. Shaun continued with about four more strong blows and she threw up a LOT of water twice and finally started crying(best sound ever!). Shaun laid her on her left side in the recovery position and then she threw up again- MORE WATER.
She was so lethargic, and only wanted to sleep, but at least she began to speak a little, she said “Mom”, “I go home” and “go in van”…but that’s it during that time. My friend came over and started tickling Kenzie’s feet. She hated it, but it helped keep her awake. After what seemed like forever a first responder showed up. He checked her vitals. Oxygen was around 82% – it should be in the mid 90s so he put an oxygen mask on her. He then listened to her lungs and said he could hear fluid in them, so we chose to have them take her to the hospital.
Finally the ambulance showed up as he was listening to her lungs…17 minutes response time. I rode in the front of the ambulance. Shaun and Macee drove the van behind.(a big thanks to our friends who watched our boys!) It was a 30 minute drive to the hospital in Montpelier, ID. The last 5 minutes they were having more trouble keeping her awake so I started screaming for them to tickle her feet. If she is mad she will stay awake!!!
We got to the hospital and once inside her coloring started getting better and she started talking more!!! They checked her lungs and said her body must have absorbed the rest of the water because they sounded good. They monitored her for another hour and she kept improving! After a while they offered her juice and crackers and she scarfed them down. We then got to leave. They said she was super lucky and to watch her closely the next 24 hours.
We drove the 30 minutes back to the pool, loaded up kids and drove the three hours home (yes, I sat in the seat next to Kenzie and held her hand the whole way). The letdown from the adrenaline had us so sick.
Kenzie slept in our bed and I was up just staring at her a lot of the night (both of us were).
Today she seems completely back to her old self….sassiness and all!
So 4 things-
1. Make sure floaties/life jackets are on at all times. I didn’t even see her get up from her chair. She was so quiet. So much can happen in just a few minutes. Floaties will stay on until we get in the bathroom and be put back on before we leave the bathroom.
2. I’m one of the most cautious/paranoid moms there is. If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.
3. If there’s an ambulance or other police/fire vehicles….pull the F over!!!! I was so angry at so many people on both sides of the road who wouldn’t move!
4. Get training in life saving skills. I’m so glad Shaun was there and knew what to do. I’m going to get some training. I never want to feel that helpless again.
I’m so happy my baby girl (3 yrs. old) is okay! 5, 10, or maybe 30 more seconds and she wouldn’t be here with us. My husband reacted so fast and saved my baby after she was pulled out of the water!
Thank you so much Brooke for sharing such a crazy story. I know that after I read this on Facebook I personally knew that I needed to make sure I got training so if something were to happen to, not only my own child, but any kids I could be there to help. Thankfully there are classes you can take and get certified. As parents we can point the finger and say, “Oh they should have done this or that,” but at the end of the day we are all doing our best to raise our kids and watch out for their safety. Accidents happen and for her to share this and her experience I applaud and I hope that it can help other parents out there learn from this situation.