Apr 052012

Unfortunately, this time of year firefighters respond to far too many drowning calls, but one hit too close to home for a Valley fire captain.

Five years ago this weekend, one of those calls was for Glendale Fire Capt. Tony Silva’s grandson, Christopher Silva, when the then 4-year-old was found at the bottom of a backyard pool.

This story could have had a much different ending, but Tony Silva and his grandson sat down with CBS 5’s Jadiann Thompson Sunday to talk about that day.

“Math,” said 9-year-old Christopher. “Writing,” he continued while describing his favorite subjects in school to the news crew. Christopher said he likes art too and has big dreams for his future.

“Do you know what you want to be when you grow up?” we asked.

“A dad,” he said.

Tony Silva says he has worked for the Glendale Fire Department for 22 years and told us that five years ago at a family pool party Christopher slipped away, and before the family even knew it, he was found at the bottom of the pool.

“I heard a lady scream, came running back to the back. Somebody had pulled him out. He had been underwater. What we think happened was he had a robe on, he went down the slide and the robe just took him down like an anchor,” said Tony Silva. “It has changed my life. It has changed my whole family. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anybody.”

He told us he performed CPR while the ambulance was on its way. “It felt like a lifetime,” Tony Silva said. Christopher spent three months at St. Joseph’s Hospital, nearly in a coma.

“They told us that he would never walk, talk or see again,” said Tony Silva.

But now this walking miracle child is 9 years old, in school and is defying the odds one day at a time.

“It’s just great to have him here with us,” said the fire captain.

All Tony Silva wants to say is to watch your kids around water.

For a quick look at some water safety tips, click on the Web exclusive video with the Glendale Fire Department titled “Water Safety Tips.”

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