Valley parents push message of safety after teen drowning - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Valley parents push message of safety after teen drowning

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Water splashes against the tile-lined wall of a Las Vegas-area swimming pool. (File/FOX5) Water splashes against the tile-lined wall of a Las Vegas-area swimming pool. (File/FOX5)

A nurse from Sunrise Hospital shared a personal family story in hopes of inspiring parents to think about pool safety.

For Cierra Sonetti, swimming pools are a reminder of painful moments.

“I relive that day," Sonetti said. "The whole ten years of his life."

She said it started off as a normal Saturday; the Sonetti's had a family gathering.  Little Austin went out back with his grandmother, but he didn't make it back inside.

"So of course we began frantically searching for him," Sonetti said. "Mind you, there were three adults in the back yard.”

They eventually found him underneath the pool cover six minutes later.  

“You get pregnant and you have a healthy pregnancy, you have a healthy baby. The next thing you know, you’re standing beside him at the hospital."

Austin survived a drowning, but Sonetti said his condition after the experience painted a picture of what could happen every day in the water.

“Now he's having convulsions," she said. "He's having seizures."

Reoccurring pneumonia and illnesses eventually took his life. 

Sonetti's reality is one Marissa came close to facing when her daughter Lilly fell into their backyard pool. 

“Life is such a gift," Marissa said.  "It can just change in seconds."

“I see her body submerged," she said. "I thought, 'Lord God, please don’t let her be dead.'"

Sonetti's, who's also a nurse, met Marissa when Lilly was treated at Sunrise. Now, the two moms work together with the hospital and Safe Kids to spread their message. 

“It just takes to seconds," Marissa said.

Doctors have chimed in too, hoping to work more proactively than having to react. 

“Even children who have had swimming classes have drowned," Dr. Harry Zilberman at Sunrise Children's Hospital said.

He said so far this year, there has already been 14 near-drownings in Clark County and he's urging the community to follow the ABCD's of drowning situations to save a life.

“Adult Supervision, barriers, such as fencing, CPR and devices, such as flotation."

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