Drowning toddler rescued thanks to off-duty service worker

LILBURN, Ga. --  Amy Berryman is a full-time mom, and director of critical care services at Northside Hospital. Earlier this month, she became a hero.

Berryman and her children went to a community pool birthday in Lilburn when she overheard a 9-year old tell her parents she thought there was a baby at the bottom of the pool.

The mother sprang into action without hesitation diving into the pool fully-clothed and pulled the 3-year-old limp body from the bottom.

She shouted for help and someone dialed 911.  

“I started assessing him,” Berryman said. “He was blue and didn’t have a pulse. I started doing CPR and water started to pour out of his nose and mouth. After a minute-and-a-half or so, he regained a pulse. I continued doing rescue breathing.”

Bryson, 3, regained his breath and some movement by the time paramedics arrived. The ambulance took Bryson to Eastside Medical Center, where he was intubated and then airlifted to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite Hospital.

PHOTOS | Drowning toddler rescued thanks to off-duty service worker

The Georgia Department of Public Health says unintentional drowning is the number one cause of death in children between the ages of 1 and 4, and swimming pools are the most common site for those drownings to occur. 

“It all happened so fast,” Berryman said. “I think between mom-mode and nurse-mode, all I remember is him and focusing on him. I don’t even remember looking up.”

About 20 stunned partygoers held hands and prayed for Bryson.

Word spread on Facebook and soon, family and friends from all over the world also sent well-wishes. This was the first time Berryman had to administer CPR outside of a hospital setting.

“She’s our family’s angel,” said Karen Rogers, Bryson’s grandmother.

Rogers, of Snellville, said she was watching Bryson all day and in a split-second he was underwater and no one at the party saw him fall in the pool.

“It was so quick, it was surreal,” Rogers said. “There’s no way we can thank her enough, she’s a hero.”

Berryman’s quick action is likely the reason Bryson did not experience neurological issues. Bryson has made a full recovery.

“When I heard about this incident and how Amy reacted, I was not surprised at all,” said Metta Waters, director of patient care quality at Northside Hospital. “We’re so overjoyed at the outcome and really proud of her.”

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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