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Toddler lives after nearly drowning in septic water

Posted at 8:38 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-28 23:23:34-04

TEMPLE, TX — Alex was not even two years old when he was found unresponsive in septic water, needing to be airlifted to Baylor Scott & White in Temple the toddler flat-lined multiple times while a team of doctors and nurses tried to save the little boy's life.

"Everything was pointing toward a really bad outcome," McLane Children's Medical Center M.D. Hale Wills said.

Hope was just about lost when a doctors caught a slight twitch in his toe. Leading them to put Alex on life support and Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

ECMO is a complicated life saving effort to help those who suffer from drowning.

"Today the baby is fine he’s healthy breathing without oxygen. He’s able to walk, and is able to do everything children his own age are doing," Mom, Daniela Pineda said.

Alex is now 23 months old and is seen as a fighter.

"We're able to take blood from their body take out the carbon dioxide add oxygen and then return it back to their body," M.D. Wills said.

"I thank God for putting these people, these doctors, in my path because God puts them in places where they can help," Pineda said. "I’m grateful to everyone for all of the care and patience because they were with me the entire time giving me encouragement."

Drowning is a very common occurrence in those 1-17 years old. So far in 2021, 31 Texas children have drowned.

In the past ten years 2016 holds the record at 107 drownings most of them in backyard or apartment pools.

Alex was finally able to leave the hospital after 83 days of fighting, during his stay there was one moment Dr. Wills will never forget.

"I saw him reach his hand up for me, and he tried to play with my ID badge was one of the greatest days of my life," M.D. Wills said.

An army of experts were on Alex's team, his mom forever grateful for the staff at Baylor Scott & White.

"There are people that God uses to help children, and I’m very happy with that," Pineda said.

Alex has gone home but will continue with physical therapy for a few more weeks to get him on track for his normal learning development. So far, signs point to a healthy and happy kid.