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December 2, 2000

For the parents of a Phoenix toddler who nearly drowned, he is their "miracle boy."

Mark and Janet Granger, the parents of Matthew Granger, said their 14-month-old son may have been in the water 20 to 40 minutes before being pulled from a Glendale pool.

They said his recovery has been miraculous, but they realize that other parents haven't been so fortunate.

"We never gave up hope. The doctors and the nurses never gave up hope. None of us did," Mark Granger said. "It has been unbelievable."

So far this year, the Valley has had at least 55 drownings, 27 of them involving children, according to law-enforcement agencies.

In addition, the Valley has had 176 near drownings or other water-related accidents.

Granger, 44, a construction worker, and his wife spoke to the press the day after Thanksgiving about their son's brush with death.

Janet Granger, 36, a bookkeeper, tended to her son during the meeting at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center.

"He knows he has been in a strange place," she said.

Matthew was propped up on a table in front of his mother, oblivious to the fuss being made about him. An older brother, Marcus, 5, looked on.

Both parents said Thanksgiving had special meaning because Matthew had survived to spend it with them.

The incident occurred Nov. 14 when Matthew slipped through a pet door and a pool gate at a baby-sitter's home in Glendale, firefighters said.

He was found floating in the pool about an hour after he had been put down for a nap, said Mark Burdick, a Glendale fire battalion chief.

Mark Granger said it was Marcus who spotted Matthew floating in the pool, then alerted people in the house.

Paramedics reported the boy in critical condition when he was taken to the hospital.

Doctors advised that the boy could have been in the water 20 to 40 minutes but that the cold temperature may have slowed his heartbeat and retarded any serious brain damage, the father said.

Doctors also have warned of a chance for a speech impediment or learning disability, but things have been positive so far, Mark Granger said.

"It looks like he's going to be 100 percent," he said.

Granger said parents should keep their guard up and make checks to ensure that baby-sitters are really watching children.

Reproduced with permission from:
The Arizona Republic
Byline: By Brent Whiting, The Arizona Republic
©Copyright 2000 Arizona Republic

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