It’s heartbreaking when a family experiences a drowning-related loss. There is so much that can be done to prevent a child’s access to a pool or body of water, but despite the most herculean efforts, all it takes is a moment of distraction to result in a lifetime of regret.
People always wonder where the parents were in these kinds of situations, and many times they’re nearby but don’t even realize that their little one has gotten close to the water.
Then there’s this situation. If there hadn’t been a surveillance video, it would have been hard to believe that despite six adults sitting within feet of two young boys, one of the boys nearly lost his life.
The four were hanging out near or in the resort’s hot tub, which was about to close, so dad hopped out to get their stuff. There were six people total in the hot tub when the two boys, 3-year-old twins, clambered down into the water.
One was wearing arm floaties, the other was not. As they crept in, the one without the inflatables slipped beneath the water’s surface … and stayed there for 2 minutes, obscured by the jets.
The other adults didn’t notice the toddler at the bottom of the pool. His parents didn’t notice. The staff member who walked by didn’t notice.
The only one on the scene who noticed was the 3-year-old twin brother, who can be seen in surveillance photo reaching out through the water and pointing — but no one saw him.
Two other people noticed, though. A guest said she’d seen a child floating face-down in the jacuzzi, and a resort desk clerk watching the surveillance videos radioed a staff member when she thought she saw a child go under.
Staff member Michael Johnson went to check but didn’t see anything except the one twin standing safely on the step. Finally, after everyone got out of the hot tub and Johnson turned off the jets, the poor child became visible.
Johnson jumped in, pulled the child out and started CPR. The guest who’d seen the child and the child’s father assisted with the boy, who started with no pulse and not breathing but was thankfully revived and taken to Arnold Palmer Children’s Hospital.
The surveillance video also shows the mother taking in the tragic scene, then removing something from her purse and throwing it away. Authorities later determined that both parents had been drinking and using both marijuana and oxycodone.
The mother faces charges of destruction of evidence as well as felony child neglect. The boy is expected to make a full recovery, WKMG-TV reported.
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