Grandmother critical after rescue attempt
A George Town resident has lost her 2-year-old son after a tragic accident at an apartment complex pool that also left her elderly mother in critical condition Monday night.
Royal Cayman Islands Police said the toddler died Monday evening after he was found floating at the bottom of the pool located toward the back of the Town and Country Townhouses property off Smith Road near Pasadora Place.
The boy’s grandmother, who had apparently jumped into the pool to save the child, was taken from the scene in critical condition and was being treated in the intensive care unit at the Cayman Islands hospital Monday night.
The pool at the townhome complex is only 6 feet deep at maximum. However, according to residents at the complex, neither the boy – Joshua – nor the elderly woman could swim.
The incident was believed to have happened sometime around 4.30pm Monday. It was not clear how the child ended up in the pool, but police said the boy’s grandmother did go in to try and save him.
Residents said the boy’s 9-year-old sister, who was home at the time the incident occurred and found both her brother and grandmother floating in the pool, called her mother to alert her to the situation.
The boy’s mother found the 68-year-old woman in the pool when she arrived. Neighbours said the woman managed to pull her mother out of the pool and then discovered the toddler.
One nearby resident was alerted to the incident when she heard screaming coming from the pool area. The woman, an expatriate from Romania who gave her first name as ‘Mihaela’, said she ran out immediately and met a horrifying scene.
“I looked at the pool [and there] was the mother of the baby with a friend of hers trying to pick up the grandmother from the pool,” Mihaela said. “She was shouting ‘the baby, the baby’, so I went and rescued the baby out of the bottom of the pool.”
She said the child was face-down at the bottom of the pool when she dove in to try and save him.
“I don’t know, just going and jumping and save the baby … you don’t even think, you just try to save,” she said. “It happened in a second.”
“I jumped …. I pick up the baby and I started doing CPR.”
Mihaela and her boyfriend both tried to administer CPR on the victims.
The 911 Emergency Communications Centre confirmed the first call it received on the incident was at 4.42pm. The first ambulance was dispatched at 4.44pm and first police unit dispatched at 4.51pm, according to 911 records. Mihaela said she believed the first ambulance crew arrived just minutes after she pulled the toddler from the pool.
A police statement on the incident indicated RCIPS officers got the initial report around 5.30pm.
Paramedics also performed CPR on the victims when they arrived. Both victims were taken to the Cayman Islands hospital.
The boy was pronounced dead at the hospital. The 68-year-old woman was said to be in critical condition at press time on Tuesday.
“All indications are that this was a tragic accident and there would appear to be no suspicious circumstances,” RCIPS spokesperson Janet Dougall said.
“What can I say?” Mihaela asked. “It’s sad, it’s bad … the poor baby.”