A nine-month-old girl from West Chester, Ohio was rescued from a retention pond on Monday afternoon. The baby was on an outing with her grandparents and some other children when her stroller rolled into the nearby pond.
Emergency crews were alerted around 1:55 p.m., when a young child who was doing her schoolwork heard screams and called her mother. The child was pulled from the pond at 2:23 p.m. Barbara Wilson, spokeswoman for West Chester township comments on the situation “The fire department got the little girl out. She was still strapped in the stroller.” The pond is approximately 10 feet deep, and the baby was found five to six feet off of the bank of the pond, submerged in the water. The authorities estimate that she was under the water for approximately thirty minutes.
The child who heard the screams recalls, “I heard someone screaming and shouting so I told my mom that and then we came out and saw that there was (someone) swimming in the pond.” Her mother grabbed a pole to help the child before realizing there was another one under the water.
After rescue crews pulled the baby from the pond, they performed CPR on her, after which she was immediately flown to Liberty Children’s Hospital and then transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
While her current condition is not known at this time, authorities do have hope that she will survive due to the mammalian diving reflex, a way that the human body reacts when it comes in contact with cold water. It preserves the brain, staving off damage for a time during extended periods in cold water. Mike Mays, West Chester Assistant Fire Chief adds “With cold water there’s always hope.”