Parents ‘grateful’ after toddler saved in near drowning

Local News

The parents of a two-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a swimming pool say they’re “grateful” to the Georgia-Pacific security guards who helped save his life.

Two-year-old Judah Anderton loves playing outside with his four siblings. But last Friday, sneaking outside to play almost turned deadly.

“We’ve been told over and over again by many doctors that these don’t things don’t happen this way,” said Ben Anderton, Judah’s father.

Judah was supposed to be inside when his parents couldn’t find him. They frantically checked the house and backyard, and that’s when his father found him in the family’s swimming pool.

“He was not responsive at all,” Anderton said. “He had been down for definitely several minutes.”

They tried CPR, and one of the other children called 911, but they figured it would be faster to drive to the local rescue squad down the street, Anderton said. When it looked like no one was there, they decided to continue on to the hospital in Lynchburg, he said.

In the car, the family cried and prayed.

“I did gain peace at one point just that, ‘You know what, something’s going to happen here,'” said Angela Anderton, Judah’s mother. “Something has to happen. Something will happen.”

Luckily, they remembered there are security guards at the Georgia-Pacific facility, Ben Anderton said. They stopped, and the guards performed CPR, which got Judah breathing again, he added.

“There was just a huge relief, like, ‘Ok, he’s coming back to us,'” Angela Anderton said. “In what way, I didn’t know, but he was coming back, and I knew he was.”

Even doctors weren’t sure about Judah’s future, Ben Anderton said, but after a few days in the hospital, it appears he’s made a full recovery.

The family is keeping their above-ground pool down, at least for now. They said they would have never had a happy ending if it weren’t for the two security guards and powers beyond their control.

“Ultimately…the Lord is the giver of life, and there’s just no other full explanation,” Ben Anderton said.

After this experience, the Andertons suggest anyone with an above-ground pool have it fenced in so no one can get in when they shouldn’t be there. They also said this story shows why everyone needs to know how to perform CPR.

The security guards who helped save Judah will be honored by local officials at a ceremony Thursday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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