A 3-year-old girl made a miraculous recovery after drowning in a pool and showing no signs of life for 12 minutes.
Jamie Nipper was in a position no parent would ever want to be in during a pool party that she and her 3-year-old daughter, Alise Nipper, attended.
Jamie and Alise were enjoying a pool party with family and friends in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on July 29 when the weather made a sudden change.
“We saw lightning from afar, that’s when we had the kids get out of the pool,” Jamie told KFVS-TV. “For a split second, I thought keep [Alise's] life jacket on.
“But she took it off as everyone was making their way inside the house before returning home. All of a sudden, I look over and she wasn’t there, where I last saw her.”
Jamie desperately searched for Alise in the pool.
“I did a pool check, did not see her," she said. "I decided to do a second pool check and saw her foot under a raft. Something took over me.
“I remember jumping across the pool, coming up and shouting, 'Dial 911.' I was praying while I grabbed her that she would start coughing as if she'd just fallen in, but when I brought her up from the water, it was evident she was without life. She was blue.”
Jamie and her friend, Heather Kyle, performed CPR until an ambulance arrived. Kyle, who is a nurse and CPR instructor, said she had “little hope.”
But after 12 minutes, there was a heartbeat.
“She all of the sudden had color and pink lips,” Jamie said. “Her heart started and she started breathing, it was strong loud breaths.”
“I was so amazed and joyful, I can't describe it,” Kyle added.
Alise was rushed to a nearby hospital in critical condition. Her father, Chris Nipper, said his heart almost stopped when he heard the news.
“I felt hopeless, I was rushing to the hospital while my daughter was losing life,” Chris said.
The child was transported to Cardinal Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. Doctors said she sustained severe injuries to both her body and her brain.
“Her lungs took on severe injury which continued to be a problem,” Dr. Jeremy Garrett told the news station.
A Facebook page was set up by a friend asking for prayers for the Nipper family. Six days later, Alise showed signs of improvement.
“When they decreased sedation and she woke up and was talking, it was absolutely amazing,” Kyle said.
Doctors removed the ventilator and Alise was not only talking, but singing. Two weeks after that, she got to go home.
“The day we left it was surreal, I felt like I can't believe we lived through this,” Jamie said.
There is no medical reason as to how Alise is alive and well today. Doctors are calling it a miracle.
“Her brain has gotten through it, her lungs recovered and as near as we can tell she's back to functioning as high level a 3-year-old can," Dr. Garrett said. “For her brain to come through this and be as functional as possible is astounding.
“Prayer and luck and divine intervention were the key factors.”
Jamie is now on a mission to share her daughter’s story and to encourage everyone to become CPR certified. She organized a free CPR training class at the Gordonville Fire Department in August.
“I look at her and think, how amazing, how awesome is our God,” Jamie said of her daughter. “[We are] so blessed.”
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