Testimonials | Brock Butler

Swimming Lessons for Kids Toddlers Infants Babies Children During the summer of 2007 a very good friend of ours offered to give our 2-year-old old son Brock swim lessons. We no longer had a pool but we had a lot of friends and family that do, so I was very aware of the need for lessons, so I took her up on her offer. Her lessons are focused on the safety side of swimming(i.e. how to get to the edge if he were to fall in). She said she would work with him for 5 days straight and at the end of those 5 days he would know how to get to the edge. Of course, he was not fond of her the first couple days, but then he got more and more used to her making him do the exercises and at the end of the 5 days “voila” he could do it. We were thrilled!!! We went to friends and family members houses during that summer and worked with Brock but once summer was over and school began, those outings were no more and since we didn’t have a pool at our home any longer, that repetition was gone. It was several months again before we were in another pool and he had forgotten what he had learned, or so I thought, and we went back to putting a life vest on him whenever he was near any body of water.

Fast forward to April 19th, 2008… when we were invited to a friend’s house for a late afternoon swim and dinner. Again, we had put a vest on Brock and were enjoying the day swimming. As we prepared for dinner, I had all of the other kids out of the pool. Our friends have an outdoor shower so I had my other children showering and getting ready for dinner. I always got Brock out of the pool last because I could take his vest off and would not have any other distractions from the other kids. This time, no different, or so I assumed. Our 9 year old daughter was finishing her shower when I got Brock out of the pool and took his vest off to put him in the shower. However, his sister had not rinsed all of the shampoo out of her hair, so I turned to assist her. As I focused on that, everyone else was inside getting ready for dinner, which is the direction Brock was heading and I assumed he continued to go inside. It couldn’t have been 20 seconds later and I heard God’s voice say to me “TURN AROUND!!” I ignored that voice 2 times (now knowing that if God ever wants to get my attention, he can and will) and on the third time I felt the urgency and turned around. It was then that I saw my 2 year old son floating in the deep end of the pool. I jumped in to retrieve him and lifted him up to my girlfriend who was standing there waiting to receive him. All I remember seeing as I lifted myself out of the pool was my son’s face and lips being very blue and his eyes wide open, but initially he wasn’t crying or saying anything (I think he was in a state of shock). By this time my husband had also come out and quickly grabbed him. I then ran in to call 911 and thank God, he started to cry. The paramedics came and it was unbelievable how fast they arrived….they were there in less than a minute.

The paramedics checked the oxygen level in his blood and said it was at 99% but they recommend he be taken to the ER to be checked out more thoroughly. By this time, Brock had fallen asleep on my husband’s chest. All the excitement exhausted him. The paramedics took them both to the ER and I followed in our van. They did an X-ray when he arrived, wanted to keep him in the ICU overnight for observation, and do another X-ray the next morning, to make sure no fluid builds up in the lungs. Once again, we were thanking God…no fluid built up and he was discharged the next morning.

When we asked Brock what he was doing in the deep end of the pool without his life vest and his response was “I was trying to get my shark toy Mom and I go like this”, filling his cheeks with air and holding his breath. He had some dive sticks that looked like sharks and either he threw it in the deep end and went after it, or it was already there and he wanted to retrieve it. Whatever the case may be, he dove in after it and didn’t get back to the edge but he had held his breath the whole time. This explains why he turned so blue, so quickly. It also explains why he was floating and had not sunk….he had not ingested any water and therefore it didn’t get in his lungs. He had remembered from his lessons that prior summer to hold his breath. Thank you Jesus!!

We had Brock back in the pool two days later so that he wasn’t afraid. A few weeks later, he took swim lessons again, but this time with Julie Gross. Julie gives music lessons to our other children and is awesome, so we knew she would be amazing with him. She made the learning fun for him. The difference this time was we practiced with Brock several times a week all summer. It was the beginning of summer, and we were watching our friend’s house while they were away for the summer, and they had a pool. That is the key to swim lessons, practice, practice, practice!! Now, I call him my little fish. He loves to go in the pool and “swim like his big sister and brother”. We will never be comfortable enough to turn our back, even if it’s just for a second, but were comfortable knowing that if he ever did fall in, he’d be able to get out.

I thank GOD constantly for sparing us the heartache of something more severe and I thank Julie Gross for giving us a lot more comfort now when were around water. She is an amazing swim instructor!!

Kym Butler
Fort Lauderdale, FL

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