In an unbelievable turn of events that many describe as a "miracle," a Missouri toddler came back to life a full 12 minutes after drowning in a pool.
Jamie Nipper and her 3-year-old daughter Alise went to a pool party with some friends on July 29. What happened next is a familiar scene for many parents: Nipper said that after playing for a few hours, the parents saw lightning and began to get the kids out of the pool. Moments later, Nipper looked back and didn't see Alise in the pool. The mom frantically scanned the area, until she spotted her daughter's foot sticking out from under a pool raft.
Heather Kyle, a friend at the party, nurse and CPR instructor, stepped up immediately. Kyle explained that while she didn't expect a positive outcome, she continued to do CPR until the ambulance arrived. Twelve minutes passed as Kyle performed CPR on the lifeless girl, when suddenly Alise's heart started beating again. Doctors confirm that Alise's brain and lungs were injured in the accident, but the little girl has — miraculously — made a full recovery.
Nipper has a special message for every parent who reads her story: Learn CPR, even if you think you will never use it. In Nipper's case, it was a friend's CPR training and quick thinking on her feet that saved her daughter's life.
Most of us share unbelievable stories like this on Facebook, all the while thinking, "It could never happen to me." But it can, and it does, and it could happen to you or someone you love.
The latest CDC figures are hard to argue with: Drowning is the No. 1 unintentional cause of death among children ages 1 to 4. An estimated 390 children drown in pools or spas each year, from the ages of 0 to 14 years old, and 76 percent of drowning deaths involve children younger than age 5. And here's the part where the risk applies to you and every parent you know: There are 8.8 million residential and public pools in the U.S. A swimming pool is 14 times more likely to contribute to the death of a child under 4 than a car accident is.
These scary statistics are easy to ignore because, well, they're scary. No parent wants to imagine themselves in Nipper's shoes. But more than anything, these statistics put a very real risk in perspective. The odds are that you are going to find yourself in a situation where your child or another child is in danger at the pool. Taking a Red Cross CPR class (or even watching a YouTube tutorial as a refresher course) is a quick fix that can give you peace of mind and literally save a life.
Incredible stories like Nipper's — along with the toddler who survived drowning after 101 minutes of CPR and the 12-year-old boy who was resuscitated after 25 minutes submerged in the ocean — are encouraging, and they share an important link: CPR training. These kids survived against all odds because people were there who knew what to do until they could be taken to the hospital.
In all of these stories, the people who performed CPR were medical professionals — and that's where the big problem lies. CPR training is for everyone, not just medics. If every parent learned this lifesaving skill, you can bet we would hear more "miraculous" stories in the news.
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