With the summer on it's way, a family day out at the pool seem like it's calling our name.


While we might be loading up on sunscreen and armbands, there's another safety measure that parents should be aware of. 


Secondary drowning is rare, but extremely serious, and it's something that mum Lacey Grace found out the hard way. 



Her young daughter, Elianna was playing with pool noodles, when a seemingly ordinary accident happened. 


"She was blowing in one end and blowing water out the other. By 100% freak accident, Elianna put her mouth to blow out at the same time someone blew in the other end, causing the water to shoot directly down her throat. She threw up immediately but didn't really have any other notable things happen." 


Just thirty minutes later, Elianna seemed to be just fine. She was fine the next day as well. But on Monday, Lacey realised tht something was wrong.


"She developed a fever. Kids get fevers, this is normal. I didn't think much. Tuesday she slept most of the day but still overall looked fine. Sent her to school Wednesday and got a call in the afternoon that her fever was back." 



Luckily, she recalled something that she had read a long time ago. 


"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." 


Going on a hunch, Lacey brought the girl to the doctor. 


"We were there about 10 minutes when the doctor said to get her to the nearest ER as soon as possible. Her heart rate was crazy high, her oxygen was low, and her skin was turning purple which suggested chemical infection.


"Went to the nearest ER where they did a chest X-ray and showed inflammation and infection caused from pool chemicals." 



Eventually she was transferred into an even bigger hospital for more specialised treatment. Lacey's hunch was right, it was a lot more serious than a simple fever. 


"Elianna has aspiration pneumonia and is now on oxygen and relying on it to breathe. They’ve tried to remove the tubes and give her a chance to breathe on her own but her levels drop quickly. She’s had her second dose of antibiotic but we haven’t seen much relief yet. Her fevers have continued. Her heart rate has lowered so that is the only good news so far.


"At least two doctors now have told us 'thank God you got her here when you did'. All the major things going wrong are things you would NEVER notice by looking at her." 


She hopes that her experience will help other parents notice symptoms before it's too late, much like that article did for her.


"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.


"For now, we just pray that the antibiotic takes quickly and her lungs can find a way to get rid of the pool chemicals." 


Thanks to the tragic story of 4-year-old Frankie Diaz, Elianna is on the road to recovery.


"We don’t know how long the road will be but I thank my lucky stars that I read that article of the little boy. 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." 


As always, with any caution around water- it's better safe than sorry.