When Lizzie fell into the pool, her 13-year-old brother, Sam, quickly arrived and pulled his sister out.
“She was gray in the face, blue in the lips, and her eyes were in her head. She was spitting up water and stuff. I didn’t know what was happening. I was really scared,” Sam told KFVS-TV.
But luckily, Sam knew CPR and was able to save his sister. And at that point, the family thought everything was fine and the danger was over.
But it soon became apparent that all was not right. Lizzie was lethargic and suddenly started drifting off to sleep. Then, at the last second, her aunt rushed forward.
“She said ‘Don’t let that baby go to sleep’ And I said ‘Well, why not?’ and she said ‘Because she won’t wake back up,’” Lizzie’s mom told KFVS TV.
Lizzie’s aunt had recently read about a rare phenomenon called secondary drowning. When a drowning victim breathes in water, their lungs can’t carry enough oxygen to the blood, and in the worst cases, that person suffocates. But it doesn’t happen suddenly, which is part of the danger. It can occur up to 72 hours after breathing in water.
The symptoms of secondary drowning are lethargy and drowsiness, which is what made Aunt Lizzie spring into action. Other signs include vomiting, having a persistent cough, having difficulty breathing, having chest pain, having a fever and undergoing a change in behavior, such as becoming irritable.
The family immediately went to the hospital, where Lizzie was monitored for seven hours. If Lizzie’s aunt hadn’t been so attentive, it could have ended in the worst possible way.
“It terrifies me. I’m so thankful to God that he did allow her to breathe again,” Lizzie’s aunt told KFVS TV.
Knowing the symptoms of secondary drowning saved 3-year-old Lizzie’s life—and now the family wants to share this important knowledge with other parents.
“It may be your child, your grandchild, or other relative,” said the girl’s aunt.
Watch a news clip about the scary event here:
This story could’ve had a really dark ending, so it’s really lucky that Lizzie’s aunt had recently learned about secondary drowning. I hope this reaches parently everywhere, so they keep a close eye on their kids now that summer and the swimming season is approaching.
Please share this article so that more parents can learn about this danger and can better protect their children.
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