Sunday, July 23, 2006

Boy's Recovery Considered Miracle

Dad Breathes Air Into Son Trapped Underwater For 7 Minutes
Boy's Recovery Considered Miracle

POSTED: 10:19 am EDT July 21, 2006
UPDATED: 10:29 am EDT July 21, 2006

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A 14-year-old who was sucked to the bottom of a hotel hot tub and kept under water for at least seven minutes was likely saved by air his father breathed into his mouth during the ordeal.

Aljuwon Pipkin, who was visiting Walt Disney World from New Jersey, became stuck at the bottom of the hot tub last Thursday at the Radisson Parkway Hotel.

Officials said a grate at the bottom of the tub apparently broke and created a strong suction that pulled the teen underwater.

Pipkin's father was at the pool and noticed his son stuck at the bottom of the hot tub.

"I get chills now even speaking about it," father Sharif Pipkin said. "I was truly a traumatic moment. I figured he was at the bottom and they just couldn't pull him up and then he didn't come up. And, I pulled again and he didn't come up. I began to holler for help from people."

As people jumped in to pull the teen from the bottom of the tub, Pipkin's father jumped in and began to breathe air into his son's mouth, the report said.

"(Aljuwon Pipkin) doesn't remember the frantic help from hotel guests and doesn't remember his father breathing into his mouth underwater," Local 6 reporter Jessica Sanchez said.

Pipkin was transported to Florida Hospital South in critical condition and initial scans of his brain were abnormal. Doctors feared he suffered brain damage.

However, seven days after the near drowning, Pipkin was given the OK to leave the hospital. He was diagnosed as being healthy with no permanent damage from the incident.

"The fact that he woke up at all is being considered a miracle," Sanchez said.

"I just remember going down to the pool and then waking up in the hospital," Pipkin said. "I can appreciate life more," Aljuwon Pipkin said. "It makes you want to work harder for things."

Pipkin's family said they do not blame the Radisson Hotel and said they believe what happened was an accident, the report said.

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