National 23.8.2016 05:02 pm

Two KZN toddlers nearly drown as Jo’burg toddler continues fight

Liam Fraser-Botha, who suffered a near-drowning in his Little Fourways Village home in Johannesburg, received a visit from his cousins for the first time since the incident. Picture: Liam Fraser-Botha Update Facebook page.

Liam Fraser-Botha, who suffered a near-drowning in his Little Fourways Village home in Johannesburg, received a visit from his cousins for the first time since the incident. Picture: Liam Fraser-Botha Update Facebook page.

Tragedy struck at the weekend as two toddlers experienced accidental near-drowning incidents, while a Joburg toddler is still recovering in hospital from his accidental near-drowning in June.

A La Lucia grandmother has told of her family’s anguish after two of her grandchildren were found floating in their family pool on Sunday in a near-drowning incident, reports Northglen News.

The toddlers, both little girls, are aged one and two. One of the toddlers is recovering in an uMhlanga hospital, while the other is in a critical condition. The grandmother, who did not want to be named, said the family were traumatised by the incident and were praying for the recovery of the children.

“We were all at home on Sunday. The children followed one of the family members down to the pool but he didn’t notice they were behind [him]. When one of the mothers noticed her child was missing she began looking for them and walked down to the pool. She found both toddlers floating in the pool. She screamed for help, dived in and pulled both of them out,” she said.

“One of our family members who knew first aid performed CPR on the one-year-old. He gave instructions to another family member to perform CPR on the two-year-old but she was unresponsive. One of the neighbours who heard the screams rushed to our aid and took the children to hospital.”

The one-year-old is currently recovering with a lung infection, while the other remains at Albert Luthuli Hospital and is in a critical condition.

“The doctors have told us she is very critical. She was moved to Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital and is on a life-support machine. We are all shell-shocked and traumatised. We are praying that she recovers,” the emotional grandmother said.

The Durban North/Umhlanga Crisis Team are assisting the family with trauma counselling.

A Netcare 911 poster describes a near-drowning as “the survival of a drowning event involving unconsciousness or water inhalation and can lead to serious secondary complications or death, up to 72 hours after the event. It occurs more frequently in males and children.”

Meanwhile in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, community members are still rallying behind 15-month-old Liam Fraser-Bothma, who also suffered an accidental near-drowning in the bathtub of his Little Fourways Village home on June 9.

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Community members were first made aware of the incident on the evening of June 9 when the intersection of Leslie and Troupant avenues in Magaliessig was closed to traffic in order to clear the area for a medical helicopter to land, Fourways Review reported. The little boy has since been treated at the Netcare Garden City Hospital, as it holds the Paediatric Drowning Centre of Excellence, where, Netcare911 media liaison officer Athlenda Mathe had previously explained, “all the specialists that deal with children that have had near-drowning incidents are found in this hospital.”

Since then, a Facebook page, Liam Fraser-Botha Update has garnered much support, with nearly 5 000 Facebook ‘likes’, which even the family says was unexpected.

The page keeps its members updated as to Fraser-Botha’s progress, which over the past few weeks has been fluctuating, aptly described on the Facebook page as a “rollercoaster”.

At the moment, the little boy is on a ventilator, but he is improving after he suffered a major set back on August 8 when he had difficulty breathing again and picked up an infection. This came just after the family celebrated on August 7 that he had been breathing for at least 60 hours without the aid of a ventilator.

The latest update was posted on Sunday evening, which stated Fraser-Botha was still breathing with the help of the ventilator after he had been weaned off the medicine.

A screenshot from the Liam Fraser-Bothma Update Facebook page.

A screenshot from the Liam Fraser-Bothma Update Facebook page.

 

Liam Fraser-Botha, who suffered a near-drowning in his Little Fourways Village home in Johannesburg, received a visit from his cousins for the first time since the incident. Picture: Liam Fraser-Botha Update Facebook page.

Liam Fraser-Botha, who suffered a near-drowning in his Little Fourways Village home in Johannesburg, received a visit from his cousins for the first time since the incident. Picture: Liam Fraser-Botha Update Facebook page.

Details: Emergency numbers to keep at hand: Netcare911 medical emergencies, 082 911 and police emergency call centre, 10111.

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