SARASOTA, Florida (KTVU) - A Florida mom is warning others after what she's calling a freak accident involving her 4-year-old daughter during a day at the pool.
Lacey Grace says her daughter, Elianna, was playing in the pool with a pool noodle April 15th when she filled the noodle with water and blew the water out. Randomly, someone blew into the pool noodle at the same time, forcing the water down Elianna's throat.
Grace says Elianna threw up immediately, but didn't seem to have other symptoms. A few days later Elianna developed a fever. Grace didn't think too much of it until her fever went away and came back again.
"I kept replaying that pool scene in my head and remembered reading a story last year about a dad in Texas whose son passed away because he went untreated after inhaling a bunch of pool water. I wasn’t going to let that be Elianna," said Grace.
Grace took Elianna to Urgent Care where the doctor said to rush her to the ER. "Her heart rate was crazy high, her oxygen was low, and her skin was turning purple which suggested chemical infection... they did a chest X-ray and showed inflammation and infection caused from pool chemicals," said Grace.
Elianna was then taken to a larger hospital by ambulance so pediatric specialists could keep an eye on her 24-7. Elianna was diagnosed with aspiration pneumonia. She is now recovering in a hospital and is on breathing tubes for oxygen.
"If your child inhales a bunch of water, and something seems off at all, I encourage you to immediately get help. I wonder if I would have taken her Monday, would she be better off? And I wonder if I waited longer what would have happened. It’s so scary," she said. Grace adds Elianna didn't end up in the hospital just from swallowing the pool water, "The dangerous part is that at some point - either going down or when she vomited back up - it got inhaled into the lungs."
Grace said they are waiting and praying for the antibiotic to work and are hoping her lungs can find a way to get rid of the pool chemicals.
Grace vows to write the father of the little boy who died in Texas an article. "I will find that article and write that dad a letter, I promise you. I would have never taken her to the urgent care without that and God only knows how this would have ended."