This is the first-hand account of what occurred on August 8, 2005, to my friend Amanda and her son, Kohl. If you have a pool, or your kids visit a grandparent or friend who has a pool, that is not secured with safety gates and alarms, please fix that situation today.
The short version is that it was nap time and I put on a movie and gave him a cupie of milk, and laied a blanket down in the living room. I went to put up some laundry and on my way back, I saw I had an IM, so I stopped and talked for a few minutes, maybe 5? And then I told the girl, "Kohl is so quiet, I bet he's asleep" so I went to check on him. I was gonna put him in the crib. And when I went into the living room, the sun was shining on the wood floor. The door was open. I remember that sunlight so clearly. My heart sank and I ran out the door, looking by the slide and swings. Not there, I could just HEAR my mother's voice say "amanda if you ever can't find him, always check the pool first". That's when I lost it. I didnt wanna look. I walked around to the gate and it was open, just a crack. It was still locked but it was pushed up and caught on the cement at the bottom. I pushed it open and looked quickly around the pool. I didn't see him and I turned to leave and I just had to stop myself and MAKE myself look IN the pool. So when I turned, there he was. Floating face down in the water. I have NO IDEA how I didn't see him the first time. I just felt my heart and my stomach hit the concrete. I froze and I literally could not move. I was screaming one of those murder movie shrill screams. Over and over. Finally, after what seemed like forever, I thought to myself, "amanda you have to get him out". It was like I was outside my body looking at myself and trying to get myself to move. It is unexplainable how it went down. Anyways, I jumped in the pool, and I remember the feeling of the water rushing all around me and the sound disappearing. (I am sure that you know what I mean). Just for one second, I was lost in the water. Very weird the way it happened and the way I remember it. Then, I pushed myself up and grabbed him and turned him over. He was so pale and his lips were blue. I just remember screaming for Jesus to please help me. When I say screaming, i mean the neighbors 2 blocks away heard me. It hit me that i should do CPR. I put him on the side of the pool and I was still inside, I couldn't remember what I was supposed to do, but I knew blow and push. So, blew in his mouth and water came rushing out of his nose and mouth. I turned him to his side, and then did chest compressions. While I was still screaming every breath. Cheetos that he had for lunch were all in my hair and on his clothes bc they had came up with the water. I couldn't decide what to do, I knew I had to call 911, but didn't know if I should stop CPR. So I finally rushed in to call. The most vivid part of the whole thing was the hot of the sun beating on my shoulders and back while i was running inside with him. He was so heavy. I didn't remember him being that heavy before. When I got inside, I called 911, it was busy. Called again, still busy. Called again, no answer. (yeah seriously). Finally someone answered and I didn't know what to say. I was just screaming "my baby my baby..." When i finally told the guy he was in the pool, he asked for my addy and I couldn't remember it. I was trying to give him directions and he said that they would be there shortly. Instead of talking me through CPR, the guy hung up on me. A kid was outside riding his bike and heard me screaming and came looking in the window. I told him to go and get help. So then a man came, who I didn't know then, but now do. He kneeled down beside me and i reach for him. He hugged me and it felt so good. I started cpr again and he was doing the chest compressions and i was doing the breathing. He stopped and I said "no don't stop" and he said "Honey, he isn't going to breathe" Once again...my heart hit the floor. That's when the neighbors came in and I remember the woman who was very very religious sitting beside me and I asked her to pray for him and she said she was but i cant remember her doing it. I picked him up and rocked him. That is when the cops showed up. Not the ambulance but the cops. The officer didn't say a word, just stood at the door observing. *idiot* The ambulance got there and ran in. Asked me how long he was in the water and I told them i didn't know. And so they FINALLY took him out to the ambulance, but it seemed like it took them forever. I ran out and the officer asked me how to get ahold of jason and I couldn't remember the number. I ran back to the back of the ambulance and got in. The EMT drug me out screaming my head off, and physically PUT me in the front seat. By this time, all the neighbors were there. There were a million cars and people. The ride to the hospital was so **** scary. The ambulance was going about 90 miles an hour and i felt it. I remember the driver saying "we got music" before turning on the siren, which I thought was a little insensitve. How could she be coy at this time? I kept telling them to "shock him" but they never did. I was just saying "jesus jesus jesus" over and over. I didn't know what else to do. We got to the hospital and a nurse met us outside. She asked the driver "is he going to make it" and she said "no". Again, I lost it. I told her "don't you effin say that...yes he is" They made me wait in a room where I can't remember much of anything of the waiting part. Except my neighbor and her daughter there with me. When the doctor came in he started to say something and i said "NOOOO...go try again. Just go and try again" and so he left. My neighbor said she checked and that they were actually trying again. A few more minutes I guess and the doc came back. He stood in front of me, crossed his hands together, looked at the floor and said "we were unsuccessful". I hit the ground. I could only hope to die myself. I banged my head as hard as i possibly could into the cement floor. Causing blood to stain my hair. The doc ordered some meds for me and I wouldn't take them. I wanted to be aware of my last minutes with him. The nurse sat on me and held me down while another injected me with haldol. 5 or so minutes later, the doc said to give me some more bc I was still screaming. Finally the nurse came back and said I could see him. They put pajama's on him but the tube was still in his throat. I held him. I rocked him. The nurse took the tube out so I could kiss him. He was so cold. I just wanted to rub his hands till they were warm again. Then, I heard my neighbor say "be strong for her" and again, my heart hit the floor when I realised Jason was there. I hurt for him. He didn't know he was dead. But when he saw me holding him, he knew and he threw his hat off and said "oh god amanda". He ran over and put his arms around me and kohl and kissed his baby. We spent about 20 minutes together in there. the nurse said that we needed to do some organ donation papers and so we went to another room. I called my mom and my dad answered. I said "dad. kohl got in the pool. He didn't make it" The longest pause wen tby and he finally said "oh amanda no". I said "i am at the hospital, I have to go". Jason called his mom and I will never forget what he said to her "momma, kohl's dead". Just like that. I was shocked to hear the words. But I guess he was just in so much shock he didn't know what to say. Anyways, after the papers were done, I wanted to see him again, but they wouldn't let me. I couldn't beleive that I was about to drive away and leave my child at the hospital. Just didn't seem right. when we got home there were a million people at the house. Jason wanted to go home to our parents, but I didn't want to face them. How do you face your parents when you have to tell them something like this? We ended up going. We had to take clothes for the funeral to dress kohl in, and pics, it just seemed like a million things. Picking the casket was terrible. I just went in and saw the little ones and just about fainted. Jason had to catch me. I was so scared to see him at the viewing. But when I went in, he was so beautiful. We read him the book "god gave us you" and I gave him the necklace that i wore, that he always pulled on when he was sleepy. I started taking meds after that. So alot of the rest was a blur. We played "elmo's song" row row the boat, jesus loves me, and hot potato (wiggles) at the funeral.