FOX44 has recently shared several stories of drownings and near drownings in Central Texas and stressing the importance of pool safety.
Now, a woman new to Central Texas is sharing her story after using CPR to save her daughter’s life.
“She’s the ultimate girly-girl. She loves all things sparkly and pink and purple and unicorns and babydolls and butterflies, dancing,” says Melissa Garcia, talking about her daughter Maddie.
Maddie is an extraordinary little girl. And at six years old, she already has an incredible story.
Her family says moments with the aspiring doctor and dancer are special because after a near-death experience at the pool, they thought she wouldn’t be here today.
The image her older brother saw on that hot summer day three years ago is one he’ll never forget.
“I just saw her floating in the water. I thought she was gone,” her older brother told FOX44.
Their mother Melissa Garcia was close by, and rushed to Maddie’s rescue – fearing all hope was lost.
“I yanked her up by her wrists, and she was kind of just limp and blue,” Garcia recalls.
Garcia knew CPR. But by the time she got to her, little Maddie was unresponsive without a pulse. She still did all she could to save her daughter.
“It took about ten to 12 minutes for the paramedics to arrive, so I just nonstop was doing CPR on her,” Garcia says.
She says the ten to 12 minutes felt like a lifetime.
“Every time I would blow air in her mouth, water would come out. So I kind of tilted her to the side and lay her back down and keep going,” Garcia says.
Doctors were able to save Maddie’s life, but they call her a miracle – a miracle that would have been impossible without CPR.
So during summer months like these, Garcia spreads Maddie’s story to other families.
“If this is what I can do, if this is what good comes out of that is me spreading the word out about how important pool safety and first aid CPR training is, then that’s what I’m going to do to help other people,” Garcia says.
We, at the PPCD, are so grateful that this mother knew what to do and went into action to save her daughter's life.
Drowning is the leading cause of death for America's children under five years old. It is a preventable tragedy. Layers of protection are the solution. CPR is one of those layers of protection. It can be the difference between life in death and we need to know how to confidently perform CPR. For your local CPR classes and information on implementing layers of protection, please visit https://www.parentspreventingchildhooddrowning.com/prevention.