This is me before my non-fatal drowning experience at the Fairborn Ohio YMCA.
I loved swimming, music, and dancing. I was always laughing, smiling and singing.
My story starts on Thursday, 27 January 2005.
After having donuts for breakfast, I excitedly ran into the Fairborn, Ohio YMCA for
another fun-filled day while my dad worked at the base, and my mom served her country in Baghdad.
Less than two hours later, I got the first ambulance ride of my life. Real exciting stuff, unless you are unresponsive with brain damage from a
lack of oxygen.
I went to the pool during a routine preschool swim activity.
Unfortunately, nobody can say what happened to me because
nobody was actively supervising me.
Although it was a preschool setting and Ohio Law states the caregiver ratio must be maintained and cannot include the lifeguard,
the caregiver was outside the pool area in an "observation area" reading a book. She never saw a thing.
Sadly, she believed once children are taken to the pool area, "They are not my responsibility."
The lifeguard supposedly just glanced away, but his first indication anything was wrong was my
unresponsive body lying face down in the water.
Various doctors have stated the amount of injury my brain sustained would have only resulted from a minimum of four to five minutes without oxygen.
I spent four days on a respirator, so I could breathe. Six days after I came off the respirator and I left Dayton Children's Hospital ICU.
I spent the next three months in the inpatient Rehabilitation Ward at
Cincinnati Children's Hospital. I tried hard every day to learn to speak, walk, and use my arms.
Unfortunately, my four-year old brain suffered such a tremendous insult that I have been unable to recover.
I want to give my mom and dad a hug, but my arms do not work right.
I want to say that I am hungry or that I am tired, and I want to sing again; but my voice just does not work.
I want to chase my sister through the sprinkler again, but my legs will not cooperate.