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Near drowning in Phoenix: Family has key message

March 23, 2009

It was Sunday evening, during family dinner when a 3-year-old went out in the backyard to play with his 7-year-old sister near 44th and Misty Willow lanes in Phoenix.

"My heart dropped when my niece started screaming," said Tyler Olofson, who helped pull his nephew out of the pool.

Olofson said the kids were within eyeshot because the home's back sliding door was open.

"Obviously we always have someone out there with him," said Olofson, "This time it was his sister."

Olofson calls his niece a hero because she knew just what to do in an emergency situation.

"We taught her to just scream at the top of her lungs if anything was to go wrong and she was right on the ball," said Olofson.

The family said they could see the 3-year-old flailing under the water, but there was a problem because the lock on the pool gate worked against them.

They had to jump over the pool fence to get to the little boy.

"My brother jumped in and pulled him up and tossed him to me so it was a team effort," said Olofson.

The family later realized the 3-year-old was strong enough to pull over a lawn chair to the 5-foot fence.

They said the boy climbed over it after throwing some of his toys into the pool.

"When I ran to the pool his eyes were open," said Olofson, "He was moving so we felt a lot better."

As the little boy's clothes dry in the backyard, the family said they've taken action by moving the backyard furniture so he doesn't have the same opportunity again.

Olofson said they're not only thankful he was under water for just a few seconds, but his niece's scream saved the day.

"We got lucky, I can't imagine all the other families who didn't get so lucky," said Olofson.

The family said the boy was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons, but he was playing like normal Sunday night.

"My heart dropped when my niece started screaming," said Tyler Olofson, who helped pull his nephew out of the pool.

Reproduced with permission from:
Nicole Beyer
Copyright 2009 The E.W. Scripps Co.

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