11 Year Old Bulloch Co. Girl Remains in Critical Condition - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/08/06

11 Year Old Bulloch Co. Girl Remains in Critical Condition

11 year old Bulloch Co. girl remains in critical condition after nearly drowning 11 year old Bulloch Co. girl remains in critical condition after nearly drowning

An eleven year old Bulloch County girl remains in critical condition after almost drowning in the same pond that took the life of her seven year old cousin.  Last Thursday the two children were playing near the the pond next to Live Oak Loop, just off Highway 119, when they decided to row a boat into the water.  The boat somehow capsized, tossing the children out.  They were underwater for about five minutes before neighbors pulled them out.  Rescue crews took both children to Memorial Health's Pediatric I-C-U but it was too late for the seven year old.  He passed away Friday evening. 

The scenic pond behind Mario Romano's house doesn't seem so pretty right now. That's where the two children fell in the water and almost drowned.

"I've lived here three years," Romano said. "We've worried about it every day."

Romano's daughter ran to their house, screaming for help. A boy and girl had fallen from a row boat into the water and hadn't come back up. Romano, his teenage son Bobby, and another young boy raced outside and jumped in. Bobby pulled the little boy's limp body out first.

"Bobby jumped back in without hesitation," Romano said. "It was almost like he knew where she was and swam right to her and brought her to the bank."

Another neighbor, Ronald Myrick, performed CPR until ambulances arrived. "I wish to God I could have brung them back," he said. "I'd do anything to be able to bring both of them back."

Both men say those who live by the pond do their best to keep children away because of horrors like this. "You could tell them a hundred times not to do it, and the first time out of sight, they're going right back there," said Romano. "That's how kids are."

As they hope and pray for these young lives, they say they'll do even more to protect children from the water and from themselves.

Bobby Romano did not want to talk about this until he'd seen the children's family. The 11-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy are cousins.

Because it is Water Safety Week in Bulloch County, Splash in the Boro water park, Georgia Southern University and the American Red Cross teamed up to host a free water safety workshop Saturday, May 6th.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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