Hotel footage captures moment two-year-old boy saved by off-duty nurses after nearly drowning

Danielle Zoellner

A two-year-old boy nearly drowned in a hotel pool before two off-duty nurses performed CPR to revive him.

Hotel surveillance footage shows the terrifying moment the toddler attempted to swim in a crowded pool in Livonia, Michigan, only to go unnoticed after he sunk to the bottom. His mother was reportedly nearby and did not notice her child struggling to swim.

“He’s trying to swim. I think he is trying to get in a position to get upright and he just can’t. And there’s a lot of people in the pool. They’re playing, and I think he gets lost in the confusion,” Livonia Police Department Captain Ron Taig told WXYZ, describing the surveillance footage before the child sunk to the bottom. “He’s trying to swim. I think he’s trying.”

A nine-year-old girl standing outside the pool realised there was a young child at the bottom four minutes later and alerted her godmother, who then told people to call 911 before jumping into the pool to pull the toddler out.

Audio from a phone call with EMS reveals a distressed person explaining to the dispatcher the situation and urging help to get there quickly.

"We need EMS immediately. Holiday Inn Express. As near as can tell, a child inhaled a bunch of water," the caller said.

Footage then showed the child on the side of the pool with people gathered around him as they attempted to revive him before police arrived. Two off-duty nurses were in the area and performed CPR on the unconscious child. After many attempts, they were able to get him breathing again.

“It gives you goosebumps when you see these nurses working on this child – multiple rounds of CPR to bring him back,” Mr Taig said.

The child was taken to the hospital and later released. The Livonia Police Department shared the footage of the moment, which happened on January 24, on its Facebook page to warn people about the dangers of not monitoring young children when they are around a body of water.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, three children die every day as a result of drowning. In fact, drowning kills more children ages one to four than anything else except birth defects,” the post read. “Thankfully, parents can play a key role in protecting the children they love from drowning. The Livonia Police Department would like to remind you to always monitor children in the water.”

The police department called the nine-year-old girl, her godmother, and the two off-duty nurses heroes for how they responded to the situation and nominated them for its highest civilian honour: Livonia Police Department Exceptional Service Award.

“From the child that identifies the two-year-old at the bottom of the pool to the godmother that jumps in to the nurses that go into action and do what they’re trained to do, they’re truly the heroes,” Mr Taig said.