Tampa toddler makes miracle recovery after near-drowning last week

A Tampa family is even more thankful than usual this Thanksgiving. Their toddler fell into the pool and nearly drowned, but the little girl didn’t just survive - she made a complete recovery.

She's still taking timid steps, but you would never know 14-month-old Genesis had a brush with death last week.

"She was hooked up to machines and a whole bunch of wires and the nurses were only saying, 'Time will tell, time will tell,'" said her father, Mike.

The nightmare for this Tampa family started Sunday, November 17. Genesis was home with mom, Vanessa.

"She was playing with her dollhouse, I turned around to make her some lunch, and she somehow found her way out the back door,” she said.

The couple thinks the door hadn't been closed properly. The fence that normally surrounds their pool had been removed the day before so the pool could be serviced and cleaned. 

Vanessa found Genesis floating near the first step.

"Her lips were purple, like she was completely lifeless,” she said. “I scooped her up out of the pool and I brought her inside, that’s when my mom and his mom both helped; they’re trained in CPR.”


Vanessa called 911. Hillsborough County deputies and paramedics rushed to the house. Genesis was airlifted to St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital, fighting for her life.

"At first we were told she might not make it through the night, and if she does she won't be the same child that she was this afternoon,” said Mike.

They felt helpless so they prayed.

After two days on life support in the intensive care unit, doctors removed the machines and Genesis woke up.

"That was like judgment day,” recalled Vanessa. “It was either she wasn’t going to move or maybe she wouldn’t open her eyes anymore."

Not only did she open her eyes, but hours later Genesis was moving around, clearly their same little girl. The tiny fighter is now home, making a full recovery.

"I can’t thank the police and the first responders enough; everybody did an awesome job," Mike said.

"It really is a miracle. I can’t say it enough,” added Vanessa. “You don’t know what’s gonna happen if you turn your back for one second."

Vanessa and Mike are both planning to take CPR classes and get Genesis enrolled in swim lessons. They also replaced the handle on the back door and had alarms installed so they know if any doors in the house are opened.