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Ahwatukee mom raising awareness for pool safety after daughter's near-drowning

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Posted at 3:04 PM, Jul 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-22 21:56:15-04

AHWATUKEE, AZ — An Ahwatukee mother is opening up about her daughter’s near-drowning in hopes of reminding parents how quickly a tragedy can happen.

Brandi Stoll recalled how she found her one-year-old daughter Alizah floating head down in the family pool last year during a get-together, “I was feet away from her so not myself or the other parents saw her because there was, no thrashing or screaming or yelling.”

Alizah was rushed to Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa where she was given a 50-50 chance of survival and made a remarkable full recovery. "It took some time for her to get back to walking and her silly crazy self, but she’s amazing, she’s so smart,” said Stall.

In a press release from Banner Health, Alizah’s family wants to recognize the upcoming anniversary by raising awareness of water safety, to prevent others from experiencing what her loved ones went through.

“Drowning can happen to anyone, regardless of where you live or what you do,” said Tracey Fejt, RN, Banner Health injury prevention coordinator.

An important part of water safety is being aware of the ABCs of drowning prevention, Fejt said. These include:

  • Adult supervision: Always have eyes on kids and be close enough to touch them. In big family gatherings, designate an adult to be a lifeguard to constantly watch the kids. Also, more adults drown than kids, so adults should have a swim buddy.
  • Barriers between children and water. Make sure there is a five-foot fence around the pool and that the pool gate latches by itself. Don’t forget that kids can crawl through doggie doors so block the doors’ access to pools.
  • Classes in CPR for adults and swim lessons for kids are essential. Drowning victims have a much higher rate of survival if CPR is administered immediately.
  • Coast-guard approved. “Floaties’’ or “water-wings’’ can pose a danger to children. Use only items that have labels indicating they are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. 

Stall said for Alizah’s 3rd birthday she will have a drive-thru birthday drive at the Armer Foundation for Kids Thrift Store with the donations going to Banner Cardons PICU & Oncology Units.