A child, motionless, lying face down in a pool of water. It’s a scene no parent ever wants to see.
Were it not for one very good dog, it’s also one David Kenney may have seen too late.
Kenney and his family were visiting friends in Brisbane, Australia, when their Staffordshire bull terrier, Leala, started acting strangely, Goodfullness reports. She was wet from tip to tail and pleading with Kenney to follow her back outside.
Kenney humored the 9-year-old dog and followed her to a dam nearby, where he found his 2-year-old son, Alexander, face down in the water.
“It was what I wished not to see. It was a mixture of disbelief, horror, and sadness. It was indescribable really, but then everything was a blur,” Kenney told the Coffs Coast Advocate.
The next 27 minutes were all but a nightmare as Kenny and two of his friends tried to revive the toddler. Thankfully, their efforts were not in vain. They managed to get his heart pumping blood again before a medical rescue team arrived.
Taking the fastest route possible, the ambulance transporting Alexander to the hospital actually passed by Lisa Brockbank, the boy’s mother.
“I didn’t think it was my kid. I didn’t think it had anything to do with us, and then I came to (see) a helicopter in the sky and the whole place just alive with police and ambulances and my son just lying there completely comatose,” Brockbank told the Coffs Coast Advocate.
Alexander spent the next two days in an induced coma. His parents were told that their son would likely suffer long-term brain damage as a result of the incident.
“The doctors said, ‘be prepared, you may not be taking this boy home, and if you do take him home, he’ll probably have some sort of brain damage,'” Lisa said. “From a parent’s point of view, it doesn’t get much worse.”
After 48 hours, Alexander was brought back to consciousness. Even the Lady Cilento Hospital’s finest doctors were stunned when he made a full recovery.
As soon as he could breathe on his own, the boy called for his parents, who kissed him and held him closer than ever.
The hospital credits Kenney’s skill with CPR for saving Alexander from long-term injury, but without Leala’s prompting, it’s doubtful the boy would have survived at all.
Leala thankfully helped her family avoid heartache. They’ll no doubt shower her with love and affection for years to come. Sadly, the reality of life for shelter pets is much less lovely. Millions of shelter animals face uneasiness and anxiety every day, waiting for the right forever family to come along. But there’s a way you can help.
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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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