Kan. girl, 11, pulls toddler from bottom of pool

Swimming Pool (KSN File Photo)
Swimming Pool (KSN File Photo)

RUSSELL, Kan. (AP) — An 11-year-old central Kansas girl is being called a hero for pulling her 2-year-old stepsister from the bottom of a hotel pool.

“I found her on the bottom, so I went in the water, picked her up and started doing CPR,” Emily Butler said.

Serinity Towery, 2, nearly drowned two weeks ago after she fell into a pool at a Russell hotel where her family was attending a party. The 2-year-old has apparently fully recovered, The Hays Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1fjfvb0 ).

The children were playing in the pool, and despite several adults being close by, Serinity managed to slip into the water without being seen.

“You see stuff like this all the time on the news, and you never think that’s going to happen to your kid until it happens,” said her mother, Rikki Krejci. “When you’re watching it about someone else, you’re like, ‘Well, where were the parents?’ Because I’m one of those people.

“And then it happens to you, and you’re in their shoes, and you’re like, ‘We were right there.’ But we turned our heads for literally one second.”

Krejci and David Towery discovered their 2-year-old daughter was missing, and starting searching for her. Emily was the first to see her stepsister under the water.

Emily had heard her mother, a trained medical assistant, explain how to do CPR just a week before the incident. She also remembered seeing CPR in a scene from a “Harry Potter” movie.

So she quickly dove under the water, grabbed the child and began doing chest compressions by the side of the pool. Her parents told onlookers to call an ambulance. Towery took the blue, limp child from Emily’s arms and continued doing CPR, with help from a family friend, until the child began to breathe.

Krejci said Serinity was eventually taken to a Wichita hospital, where a scan revealed minimal damage. Serinity recovered rapidly and was able to have all of her tubes removed within 24 hours. She continues to have follow-up medical examinations but seems to have made a full recovery, her mother said.

“Nurses and doctors and everyone said, ‘If it weren’t for her doing what she did, if it wasn’t for her pulling her out and pushing that initial water out of her like she did, it probably would have been worse,’ ” Kerejci said.

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Information from: The Hays (Kan.) Daily News, http://www.hdnews.net

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