Baby of 10 months survives after falling into pond

2010-03-31 00:00

AN infant survived a near drowning in a garden pond in New Hanover yesterday morning.

Charmaine Earle and her husband left for work as usual, leaving their 10-month-old baby boy Benjamin with a childminder.

Young Benjamin crawled outside while his minder was inside the house.

Earle said a child next door alerted the childminder that Benjamin was in the fish pond.

“When I received the call about the incident, I got a big fright and phoned my husband who got home immediately,” she added.

When he was pulled out of the pond, Benjamin was unconscious.

“We tried to resuscitate him and rushed to the hospital after the ambulance failed to arrive.”

Earle said Netcare 911 paramedics met them outside Pietermaritzburg and took the child to St Anne’s Hospital, adding that the Netcare paramedics were quick to respond.

The ambulance never arrived, Earle said.

At the hospital, special attention was paid to Benjamin’s lungs and he was put on a drip and on oxygen.

Dr Frank Bocking, who attended the child, said he is in a stable condition.

“There were no signs of neurological problems and he was stable.

“We will monitor him for the next 48 hours to see if there are any suspicious symptoms,” said Bocking.

It is not known for how long Benjamin had been in the pond, which is described as large, but he was active and protesting about the oxygen cannula which was on his face.

Benjamin was cradled in his mother’s arms at St Anne’s Hospital when The Witness visited them yesterday.

Said Earle, “He’s a healthy and busy body and he does crawl outside the house.

“When he’s around his presence is felt. He is such a sweet child.”


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