A 4-year-old girl whose hero sister jumped into action to save her from drowning in a neighborhood pool last May is doing better than ever after several months of recovery.
The girls’ mother Daneshia Dallis told talk show host Steve Wilkos it’s a miracle Kali Dallis, who was 3 at the time of the near-tragedy, survived the incident and said she’s thankful her older daughter, Jayla Dallis, 10, was there to pull her from the water.
Doctors didn’t expect the young girl, who was submerged for nearly two minutes, to wake up from the incident. After 11 days in the ICU, however, Danisha said Kali opened her eyes and yelled “Mommy !” with excitement.
The Georgia mom said Kali’s road to recovery has been a tough one, especially since doctors informed her the toddler would have a brain injury.
“We have many therapy sessions but Kali is a fighter,” she told Wilkos in a special 100th episode of “The Steve Wilkos Show” set to air Feb. 24.
The incident that would forever change their lives unfolded last May at the family’s apartment complex in the Atlanta-area suburb of Chamblee. Jayla and Kali were playing at the pool while ostensibly under the supervision of an aunt, as Danisha was away at work at the time. That’s when tragedy stuck.
Danisha said she couldn’t stop shaking and crying when a relative showed up to her job to tell her there had been an accident.
Young Kali had jumped into the pool with a floatie around her waist. The toddler landed awkwardly, however, with her head and torso submerged in the water and her feet in the air. She struggled to free herself from the inner-tube and soon lost consciousness.
Sister Jayla was at the other end of the pool when she noticed Kali floating motionlessly in the water. That’s when she jumped into action to save her sister.
‘It was a feeling. I saw her so I just went for it,,” the 10-year-old told Wilkos.
Statistics from the National Safety Council put drowning as a leading cause of death for young children. Most of those incidents are attributed to children falling in pools or being left in the bathtub unattended.
A manager at the apartment complex attempted CPR on the Kali before the tot was rushed to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital, where she remained for 14 days.
“Seeing her possibly not make it through the night and to the next day or the next week was very hard,” Danisha said, noting her daughter was in critical condition. “I was very, very, very scared. I didn’t know the extent of the damage until after a couple of days.”
The family would eventually receive the good news that Kali was expected to make a full recovery.
Watch more in the video below.