Two-year-old ‘brought back from the dead’ after drowning

(Image via Facebook)
(Image via Facebook)

When she was admitted to hospital, two-year-old Kaylin Dedekind had no pulse – but parents Juanita and Siegfried kept praying until there was a heartbeat.

"She’s doing really well," says Juanita, 30, about Kaylin’s miraculous survival after she’d drowned in their swimming pool in Middelburg, Mpumalanga, a few days before Christmas.

"The feeding and oxygen tubes have been removed – she’s eating on her own."

Juanita and Siegfried, 39, have another daughter, Ashley, 6.

"Kaylin’s alive and has been brought back to us. It’s still a long way to recovery but we’ll make it with God by our side," Juanita tells us from the Garden City Hospital in Johannesburg where Kaylin is being treated.

"We can’t find a pulse. She’s dead"

The tot, who turns three next week, has even stood up for the first time since the drowning.

"She’s still struggling to focus because of the effects of the strong medication she was on," Juanita adds.

It happened in seconds in the late afternoon of 23 December, Siegfried tells us from the hospital. The family were playing with bowling balls, an early Christmas present for Kaylin.

"She disappeared from sight for just a moment," Juanita recalls. "She’s a busy child and likes playing in her room by herself."

'Unconscious, floating on the surface'

The swimming pool has a fence around it but that’s the first place they went looking for the little girl, whom they found unconscious, floating on the surface. They still don’t know how she’d managed to get through the fence’s gate.

Neither parent is sure exactly what time it happened – somewhere between 16:00 and 17:00, Siegfried reckons.

They rushed little Kaylin to hospital in Middelburg where medical staff told them, "We can’t find a pulse. She’s dead."

The couple were shattered. But they decided to keep praying while doctors kept trying to revive Kaylin.

"I finally saw that heartbeat"

"My husband was in and out of the ICU," Juanita says.

"When I finally saw that heartbeat on the monitor, it was as if my entire life changed," Siegfried recalls.

"I’ve always been a Christian. But that night I gave myself over to God for my child’s life. I’m a reborn Christian now.

"I’m calm now and believe she’ll make a complete recovery," he adds. "There’s a bigger plan."

As soon as Kaylin’s heart was beating again she was transported by helicopter to Johannesburg, where a freezing method was used to prevent brain damage – the brain’s temperature is lowered, after which the body temperature is slowly returned to normal.

One Wednesday evening the treatment was stopped and Kaylin opened her eyes. She’s still in ICU.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Read your favourite magazine in a convenient PDF form.
Read now