‘God had his hand in it’ | Toddler recovers after near drowning on July Fourth

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The Tidelands Health Newsroom

Published on July 14, 2020

‘God had his hand in it’ | Toddler recovers after near drowning on July Fourth

Little Lorelei Wilson loves playing outside her Andrews home – swinging on the swing set, checking in on the family’s chickens.

Seeing her bounce around the yard today, you’d never know the near tragedy the 3-year-old experienced on July Fourth.

“She’s honestly a walking miracle,” Lorelei’s mom, Tori Wilson, said.

Lorelei WilsonTori and her husband, Blake – along with Lorelei and her two older brothers - celebrated the holiday at Tori’s parents’ house in Andrews. Lorelei, who just turned 3 on June 30, and other kids in the family were playing by the pool under the watchful eye of adults while Tori went to the kitchen to make a snack for the little ones. A relative rushed in screaming that Lorelei was in the pool and not responding. Just like that, the Fourth turned from festive to frightening.

“She slipped away for two seconds,” Tori said. “It was just that fast.”

The next minutes and hours are a blur for Tori. She remembers frantically calling 911 as her dad snatched Lorelei out of the pool – she wasn’t breathing, her lips blue.

He got her breathing again, the toddler spitting up some of the water she had ingested.

The family rushed Lorelei to the emergency department at Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital, calling 911 along the way and arranging to meet first responders en route.

Sitting in the back seat of the car, Tori held Lorelei, who was extremely lethargic.

“I prayed – everyone in the vehicle was praying,” Tori said. “It was super scary.”

The ER team at Tidelands Georgetown - already experiencing a busy holiday weekend made even more intense by the COVID-19 pandemic - immediately took Lorelei in for an evaluation.

Using telehealth, the medical professionals connected with a pediatric intensive care specialist at the Medical University of South Carolina to further evaluate Lorelei. Tidelands Health is the region’s MUSC affiliate and telehealth partner.

“We were doing everything we could for the best outcome,” said Kayse Blackmon, a registered nurse in the Tidelands Georgetown ER. “We’ve worked together so long. There’s a trust there, and we each know what has to be done. Everything flowed into place very smoothly. And we were able to easily get the MUSC specialist online as well. I’m just so happy she had a positive outcome.”

After evaluation, the decision was made to airlift Lorelei to MUSC via medical helicopter for specialized treatment. Later, while sitting in the MUSC hospital room, Tori worried there might be long-term damage to her baby girl.

The little one roused about 2 a.m. Sunday, July 5, and mumbled, “Hey, mama.”

They were the sweetest words Tori had ever heard – an indication that Lorelei would be just fine.

“I am so thankful and will forever be grateful to Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital,” Tori said. “They were amazing. There was no information left uncovered. They answered all of our questions.

“They just had everything and were rolling.”

In addition to her appreciation for the Tidelands Health team, Tori believes there also was a higher power at work that day.

“God had his hand in it – period,” she said. “God still is in the miracle-making business. He was looking out for her. He had everybody in the right place to help her.”

Now, Lorelei is back to her independent self, enjoying everything outdoors.

“To look at her today – it’s like nothing even happened,” Tori said. “She’s perfectly normal and healthy.”

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Tidelands Health is the region’s largest health care provider, serving the Carolinas at four hospitals and more than 60 outpatient locations. More than 2,500 employee, physician and volunteer partners are working side by side with our communities to transform the health of our region – promoting wellness, preventing illness, encouraging recovery and restoring health.