Desiree Fortin, a mom from California, knows the importance of being extra vigilant about watching her kids when they're anywhere near a pool. But unfortunately for her, a split-second of distraction is all it can take for disaster to strike. She shared what happened when her daughter, Charlize, nearly drowned in a friend's pool on Instagram proving that, yes, it can happen to even the most careful parent.
"I never once imagined, as a mother, I would ever find myself at the ER holding my sweet girl in my arms, tears streaming down my cheeks, uttering the words 'My daughter almost drowned,'" she wrote. "Two days ago we went swimming with friends at their pool. The triplets love the water, especially Charlize. She is fearless and a little fish. We were having a wonderful time with our friends. It felt like the perfect Summer day."
She explained that as the mom of triplets, she's grown accustom to having eyes in the back of her head 99 percent of the time. However, on the day in question she was struggling to get her kiddos dressed and ready for the pool — and that's when Charlize fell in.
"I couldn't get to her fast enough no matter how fast I ran."
"I took Charlize and Sawyer to the bathroom then we went back outside to swim," she explained. "They were both naked so I needed to dress them. The other kids and adults were in the pool playing, as well. I got Charlize in her suit. 'Don't get in the water until I get your floaties on' were the last words I said to her as I proceeded to dress Sawyer."
Little did Desiree know that all it took was a second for her world to be potentially turned upside down: "In a moment, an instance, a matter of seconds, my life changed. 'She's in the water! She's in the water!!' My friend was screaming from the other side of the pool as she saw Charlize struggling submerged under the water."
Desiree's maternal instincts immediately kicked in and she sprung into action:
The next few moments were the slowest of my life. I stood up and saw with my own eyes my girl underwater fighting for her life. I couldn't get to her fast enough no matter how fast I ran. I could see her tiny feet kicking trying so hard to get out, but she simply couldn't. I finally got to the pool and pulled her out as fast as I could. Her blue lips are forever engraved in my memory.
But getting Charlize out of the pool was only half the battle. It took her nearly 30 minutes for her to get back to her normal self.
"As soon as I took her out she instantly started spitting up water and in seconds, she vomited up a lot the water, and the watermelon and strawberries she had just eaten. She was sobbing. I was in shock," said Desiree. "Her color came back and she coughed a little bit."
Desiree wants to emphasize that didn't look away for long. It took mere moments for her daughter to slip into the pool without so much as a sound.
"It looked like Charlize was playing on the larger pool step and got too close to the edge and quietly, silently, and quickly my daughter got into the water and went under. No one saw it happen, but it happened."
The panicked mom didn't want to take any chances even though it seemed like her daughter didn't have any lingering symptoms. She took Charlize to the ER just to be safe after telling her husband about the experience. Thankfully, Charlize has made a full-recovery but Desiree wants parents to know that she avoided a heartbreaking tragedy by a narrow margin and urges them to watch their little ones like hawks.