New Jersey’s Adam Lisberg is a father to three and like most parents, he and his wife decided to buy an inflatable pool to put in the driveway “for our isolated summer.”
While the pool was just two feet deep, it was deep enough for his 5-year-old and 7-year-old daughters, Annabelle and Ruby, to enjoy on a sunny day.
He also noted how they also purchased their daughters’ matching two-piece mermaid suits to wear while they swam.
The suits came with matching tails and while they looked so cute, Lisberg discovered they were also a hazard…
“Sunday afternoon, the mermaids were in the pool. I was in the kitchen overlooking the pool, window open so I could hear them, looking at them every minute or two. Then Ruby came inside and told me calmly that Annabelle was underwater, and wasn’t moving, so she pulled her out.”
The horrified dad went on to share that he quickly ran to find Annabelle “lying exactly like a TV mermaid washed up on the shore. But when I picked her up, her eyes were wide open and she didn’t react.”
He then called 911 while his wife arrived shortly after. Thankfully, Annabelle began to cry but she was unable to speak.
Lisberg went on to explain what happened, exactly: “And here’s why I’m telling this story: Ruby said Annabelle pulled that mermaid tail up to her shoulders and tucked her arms inside. And as Annabelle told us later, she tried to ‘play potato’ (?!?) by lying down in the water. But she couldn’t reach her hands out to get up.”
Thankfully, Annabelle made a swift recovery after staying two days in the ICU. And while the family is still processing seeing their daughter almost drown, Lisberg wants to share his story “as a warning about kids, pools and swimsuits.”
According to the CDC, children drown in kiddie pools every year and for every child who does die from drowning, there are five more who end up hospitalized for “non-fatal submersion injuries.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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