Phoenix mom shares son's survival story to urge water safety

Posted at 6:22 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-02 21:38:49-04

A Valley mom is sharing her son’s survival story to urge safety around water.

Four-year-old Stryder just celebrated his birthday. That in itself is a blessing for his mother, Terri Grub.

"I see that 11-month-old baby that wasn't breathing. We weren't sure what the future was going to hold, so every time I look at him, I just see my little miracle,” Grub said.

She nearly lost him three years ago when Stryder fell into their backyard pool that was gated.

He was pulled out unconscious.

"It's unknown how long he was in the pool. I was at work, and when his dad found him, he wasn't breathing. He didn't have a pulse,” Grub said.

Thankfully, a neighbor performed CPR before first responders got there and took him to the hospital. Stryder went home perfectly healthy.

A week later, Phoenix firefighters honored first responders and the neighbor who saved Stryder's life.

"It doesn't get any less painful. I relive that day all the time," Grub said. “If I can share his story and bring awareness to how important it is to watch your kids around water, then it’s worth it.”

These kinds of calls take a toll even on the first responders.

"The screaming and the crying and people being upset--those are just difficult, traumatic situations for us, especially for us that have kids,” said Capt. Reda Bigler with the Phoenix Fire Department.

Sunday, firefighters from Engine 91 stopped by to visit Stryder, as they do every year to celebrate his life.

It's not every day they get to see happy endings.

"There’s a reason he's here. God had a bigger plan for him,” Grub said.

Grub and first responders stress the ABC’s of water safety: adult supervision, barriers, and classes. Bigler said 85% of drownings happen in home backyards.