‘It was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever experienced’: Toddler recovers after near-drowning

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 9:25 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Katie Trotman will never forget the year 2020, not because of the pandemic and lockdowns, but because her second oldest daughter, 3-year-old Nora, nearly lost her life.

“It was the most traumatic thing I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. If you know Nora, she’s just so full of life, and she had none left in her at that time,” Trotman said.

On Father’s Day, Nora and her family went to a friend’s house for a birthday party, where a new pool was just installed. Trotman says everything seemed fine until the kids went outside for cupcakes came back in a short time late, except Nora.

“I heard a voice in my head saying, ‘where’s Nora?’” Trotman said.

Her intuition led to a frantic search for the toddler. Ultimately, her father found her moments later, lifeless in the swimming pool.

“She was just floating face down. She was gone by the time he came out there. I just fell to my knees, and I just started calling out to Jesus, to be honest with you, and praying for Nora to just come back,” Trotman said.

Nora’s dad pulled her out of the water seconds before a couple of nurses, who happened to be at the party, gave CPR. Still, nothing was enough to bring Nora’s heartbeat before the paramedics arrived almost 10 minutes later.

For the next 17 days, the Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU would become home for the Trotman family as Nora spent days on a ventilator and under watch for seizures.

Her parents clung to hope that their little ray of sunshine would soon return to her whole self, despite the possibility of brain damage.

“I came home, and I just cried. I prayed, and I worshipped for her life, and the next day she was standing up in her bed,” Trotman said.

Today, Nora is back to doing what she loves and spending lots of time with her sisters after a remarkable recovery.

The 36 Hours for Kids Radiothon may be over, but donations to the hospital can still be made here.

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