Mum’s horror as her son’s ‘limp’ body dragged from pool
WARNING: Distressing content
A mother has described the horror of seeing her five-year-old son laying dead on the cold concrete after a drowning incident, before he miraculously began showing signs of life.
Maribeth Leeson has recounted her son's near death nightmare in an emotional Facebook post that has prompted a massive response, attracting more than 252K likes, 341K shares and 82K comments.
The Indiana mother of five explained the terror of watching the life drain from her son Adam's eyes.
She began her story with a simple statement: "My son drowned 3 days ago."
"His limp, grey, lifeless body was pulled from the pool and it was every mother's worst nightmare. He was dead."
'HE DIDN'T LOOK LIKE HE WAS DROWNING'
Maribeth explained she had taken her children to a pool party, with lots of children and adults.
Thinking Adam would be safe paddling in the shallows, surrounded by adults, she turned away briefly to help her three-year-old daughter put on her swimsuit.
"He didn't look like he was drowning, no one noticed it because he just looked like he went underwater and was holding his breath," she would later tell Good Morning America.
"Had anybody seen him splashing his arms around they would have been saying 'hey, help him'."
All of a sudden, Adam's body was being dragged out of the pool as a frantic Maribeth began screaming uncontrollably.
She watched on as people ran to Adam's side to perform CPR, while his siblings stood around him sobbing and confused.
The mother-of-five said a "million thoughts were flying through my head as I stumbled around … screaming".
"I saw my sassy little three-year-old daughter, in her pink unicorn and rainbow suit, just watching me, confused," Maribeth wrote.
"And how was I going to tell my husband that I let our perfect five-year-old son drown?"
'HE LOOKED AWFUL AND PERFECT'
Maribeth was convinced she was in a horrible dream, and willed herself to wake up but very quickly, she realised her worst nightmare was in fact happening.
"My funny, silly, sweet, handsome, artistic, thoughtful little blondie was dead," she said.
She ran over to where her friend, Kristin Moon, was relentlessly performing CPR on her child and began talking to him.
"He looked awful and perfect still at the same time," Maribeth recalled.
"I watched as water and vomit poured out of his mouth, eyes swollen and rubbery looking."
A MIRACLE HAPPENED
As Kristin continued her CPR on Adam, suddenly, to the shock of everyone around him, the little boy began showing some signs of life.
"Several people at the same time exclaimed 'There he is!' and encouraged me to keep talking to him," Maribeth said.
"My friend kept working, I kept talking. He started to try to open his eyes and another round of exclamation occurred."
Kristin could finally feel a pulse coming back to Adam and the group moved him carefully off the concrete and into the pool house.
RECOVERY AND WARNINGS
Adam was raced to the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital, where he made a full recovery and was discharged back into his parent's care this week.
Now, back at home with her son, Maribeth said she wanted to share her trauma so no other parent would have to go through what she had.
"I never considered the possibility that my child could drown, right in front of people who were watching him bob up and down from the bottom of the pool," she said.
"I thought it was fine for five minutes, as he could touch just fine in the shallow end and he wasn't alone."
Maribeth said she had "never been so wrong".
She was so grateful her son was saved and hoped her story would inspire other parents to stay "hyper vigilant" when their children are in the pool.
"Before going to any pool, make sure your kids know not to get in until the adult who is responsible for them is ready to watch them," she said.
"Learn from my mistakes, so it's not you."
Continue the conversation @Rhi_lani or email firstname.lastname@example.org