Adam Lisberg is a dad of two who took to Twitter to share a harrowing story about what happened to his 5-year-old daughter, Annabelle.
Adam bought a popular toy for Annabelle and her 7-and-a-half-year-old sister Ruby, but this dad never expected things to go so wrong.
Now, he’s sharing a warning every parent needs to read after Annabelle nearly drowned.
Here’s what Adam had to say.
In a series of tweets, Adam explained, “This is a scary story starring my daughter Annabelle.”
“I’m telling it as a warning about kids, pools, and swimsuits because I don’t want anyone else’s kids to end up in the ER or the ICU like she did for two days.”
“She’s 5. She and her big sister Ruby, who’s 7-1/2, love mermaids. So when we got an inflatable pool for the driveway for our isolated summer, we also ordered mermaid outfits.”
“Aren’t they cute? Two-piece swimsuits with matching tails.”
Adam then shared a photo of the pool he got for the girls, showing that the water only reached as high as their little legs.
He admitted he knew he had to be careful with kids in any kind of pool, and that they can drown even in a small amount of water.
“Sunday afternoon, the mermaids were in the pool. I was in the kitchen overlooking the pool, window open so I could hear them, looking at them every minute or two,” he continued.
“Then Ruby came inside and told me calmly that Annabelle was underwater, and wasn’t moving, so she pulled her out.”
“Is this a prank? No. Really? Swear to God. I looked outside — Annabelle was lying on the ground next to the pool, arms inside her mermaid tail, not moving.”
Adam ran outside, desperately still hoping this was some kind of joke the kids were playing. As he reached the pool, he could see Annabelle was lying in the water.
“But when I picked her up, her eyes were wide open and she didn’t react.”
“My God — she’s dead. Then she coughed a little. Her eyes didn’t change. How long was she under? Is this what no oxygen to the brain looks like? I took a CPR class when Ruby was born — what do I do again?”
Annabelle coughed another time, and Adam placed her in his lap and started slapping her back.
Annabelle coughed more, and then she began crying. Then vomiting, and Adam was relieved.
“Then a blur — called 911 (first cop arrived within in four minutes!), son Ben got mom, au pair Mari ran down to help. Annabelle starting to cry more, still can’t form words.”
“And here’s why I’m telling this story: Ruby said Annabelle pulled that mermaid tail up to her shoulders and tucked her arms inside.”
“And as Annabelle told us later, she tried to “play potato” (?!?) by lying down in the water. But she couldn’t reach her hands out to get up.”
“Annabelle said she tried to talk, but the words just turned into bubbles. I will never get that image out of my head.”
“Fortunately, Ruby is the best big sister in the whole world. She saw Annabelle wasn’t coming up, so she pulled her head out of the water and then pulled her completely out of the pool, scary wide-open eyes and all. She guessed Annabelle was only under for about 30 seconds.”
“By now my wife Carrie was holding Annabelle, who was starting to form words as her eyes shrank back to normal. The paramedics measured good blood oxygen.”
“Half a dozen cops high-fived Ruby because she was a hero. Ben was shaking and on the verge of tears. It’s scary.”
Annabelle stayed in the pediatric ICU for 2 days. She had an elevated pulse and a temperature for a day after the incident.
“Finally she came home, still the same giggly bubbly silly sparkly girl she was, just fighting us when we try to take the last two EKG leads off her chest.”
“We are indescribably lucky. I cannot imagine what it’s like to be the parent who didn’t get lucky like this.”
“So — thank you for reading this. Frankly, I hope this haunts you. I share it because I want you to never take any kids’ safety for granted, especially in water, no matter how shallow, even for a minute.”
“And maybe skip the mermaid tail. She’ll be okay without it.”
“Also, anchor every piece of furniture to your wall, even if you think there’s no possible way they could ever pull it down.”
“But that’s a story for another day.”
You can read Adam’s original tweets here.