Emma De Longis

"It is something that no parent should have to see or go through"

When Mia drowned in December 2012 I was right beside the pool with my cousin. We were supervising all 5 of our children who were happily splashing and enjoying each other’s company.

A brief moment to look down and mix a bottle of formula for my 6 day old newborn was all it took for our precious Mia to lose her grip on the side of the pool and slip silently and quickly beneath the water.

My 10 year old son and his 8 year old cousin spotted Mia on the bottom of the pool and pulled her to the surface calling my name frantically. She was blue and lifeless. Looking away for a few moments was all it took. My daughter’s life was now hanging in the balance.

I laid her lifeless body down beside the pool and began to breathe into her. CPR was her only chance. Thankfully I had completed a CPR course 15 years earlier. After multiple attempts at mouth to mouth and a few compressions, the little information I had retained from that course was enough to bring our daughter back to us.

Mia took a breath and opened her eyes, but they were eerily glassy. She started to vomit violently and was screaming in pain. The ambulance officers arrived but her oxygen levels were very low. I had to keep her conscious, but all she wanted to do was close her eyes.

We soon arrived at PMH where Mia was admitted into the hospital. She had fluid and vomit on her lungs and her oxygen levels needed to be monitored. This was devastating for our family. The guilt you feel as a parent is unimaginable.

Luckily for us, Mia made the most wonderful recovery. High dose antibiotics cleared the fluid from her lungs and her oxygen levels eventually returned to normal. She has no permanent damage from the accident. But what we saw that day is something that no parent should have to see. Things could have ended so differently.

Drowning is NOT like the movies. You are not going to hear a child screaming for help and waving their arms on the surface of the water. It is SILENT. It is TRAGIC. But it is AVOIDABLE.

  • If you have children, you should know first aid.
  • If you have children, they should learn to swim as early as they can.
  • If you let your children in the pool, be in there with them, be ready and KEEP WATCH!


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