Father offers warning after daughter nearly drowns in Lubbock po - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Father offers warning after daughter nearly drowns in Lubbock pool

Dimitrio & Mariana (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs) Dimitrio & Mariana (Source: Ashlyn Tubbs)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Mariana Martinez is a 3-year old who is rarely seen without a smile.

"Mariana is at that age where she's wanting to be more independent," her father, Dimitrio Martinez said, " and she's even sometimes driving us a little nuts."

At the end of June, Mariana's confidence nearly cost her life at a neighborhood pool in Lubbock.

"You have a large big pool and then you have one right next to it, the kids' pool," Dimitrio said.

Dimitrio took Mariana's life jacket off so he could play with her in the kid pool.

"It's not deep at all," he said, "no more than two feet deep."

Then, he decided to step out and dry off.

"At that point, I figured that Mariana will be just fine having some company in the kids' pool," he said, "including her older brother."

That is a decision Dimitrio said is his worst mistake.

"All of a sudden I didn't hear anything in the kids' pool," he said. "It was completely empty. No splashes, no noise, no nothing."

That is when he saw Mariana on her back in the large pool.

"I rush to the big pool just there in front and at that point I see Mariana just laying flat on the water and just sinking underwater and then coming up," he said. "At that point, I just had the biggest fear of my life. I just seen her coming out of the water basically lifeless."

Dimitrio rushed to grab her.

"Her face is completely blue, especially her lips," he said. "Her mind, her body was just not reacting. Not reacting, not responding. She's not breathing. And at that point we thought we lost her we tried what we could, moving her around.

Then, they called 911.

"Right before we sated hearing the sirens, then seven minutes later we start seeing some response," he said. "She starts breathing slowly, she starts slightly moving her face she starts blinking and she starts coughing some water."

She was rushed to the hospital.

"They stabilize her and they took X-rays and seen that water was not in her lungs," he said. "And sure enough, they didn't find any water entering her lungs."

That is when Mariana's smile returned.

"She was ready to put her swimsuit back on and go back to the pool," Dimitrio said.

While Mariana does not remember anything that happened, this is a moment Dimitrio will never forget.

"Just the thought of seeing her underwater and seeing her come out of the water lifeless just tore our hearts apart," he said, "and we were very scared, very afraid. And we just thank God because she's with us today."

This is why Dimitrio wants to share this story with other parents, to save lives.

"Have fun, play with them," he said. "I love them and we can I think give them the gift of life. We can protect them better and avoid the heartache."

Dimitrio and his wife shared these tips on Facebook in the days following Mariana's near-death experience:

"Drowning can occur in any container of water. Do not leave any standing water in basins, buckets, ice chests, kiddie pools, or bathtubs or in other areas where a young child can get at it.

Secure the toilet seat cover with a child safety device.

Fence around all pools and spas. Secure all the doors leading to the outside, and install pool and door alarms.

If your child is missing, check the pool immediately.

Never allow children to swim alone or unsupervised regardless of their ability to swim.

Never leave children alone for any period of time or let them leave your line of sight around any pool or body of water. Drownings have occurred when parents left "for just a minute" to answer the phone or door."

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