Most of us look forward to family get-togethers and celebrations, never thinking that the happiness of such good times could be stolen in an instant. But that’s what almost happened to Amy Steelman and her two-year-old, Hannah, at a birthday party for Amy’s grandmother in Norman, Okla. in August, 2010.
Both Amy and Hannah were eager to reconnect with family, and all of the kids quickly ran out of sight and earshot.
“I had a sinking feeling when I couldn’t find her,” Amy said, thinking of her grandmother’s above-ground pool in the backyard. She ran outside and saw Hannah and a cousin floating face down in the water.
In Amy’s panic, she first tried a couple of breaths but they didn’t work. Her cousin suggested compressions. Thanks to CPR, both little girls survived.
Can you tell us what you did?
I started the compressions. It only took one round, and she started coughing and vomiting. She was crying, and she had this faraway look in her eyes. It was so scary.
How in the world did you stay calm?
I knew I had to do something. In my senior year of high school, I did a nursing option program, and I learned CPR. I just knew I had to save my daughter. I think I had this feeling that I just had to be strong, that I really had to keep it all together.
How did Hannah react to all of this?
When they put us in the ambulance, they would not let me in the back with […]