Toddler released from hospital one week after near drowning

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- A toddler who nearly drowned in a backyard pond last Saturday has been released from the hospital and is doing well.

Dixie Wallace, 2, looks like a normal happy toddler back at home with her family one week after nearly losing her life.

"Just total disbelief that this could happen," said Tiffany O'Sickey, Dixie's mother. "I never in a million years thought that this could happen to me."

The toddler was in the hospital for a week. Her mother says she doesn't appear to remember anything from the day she was found lifeless in the pond behind her grandmother's home in St. Augustine.

O'Sickey says she remembers coming home from the store and lying down to rest for a few hours before the graveyard shift she was scheduled to work, but before she would go to sleep, she was told Dixie was missing.

"I seen him jump into the water and I just, my heart sunk, it was so horrible. She came out blue, she wasn't responding," said O'Sickey.

The toddler's uncle pulled her out and started CPR. The St. Johns County Sheriff's Office says the incident was a terrible accident; an accident O'Sickey says she will make sure never happens again.

"There's no manual," said O'Sickey. "You just have to learn by experience and I definitely, this definitely changed me."

O'Sickey says she and her kids were just reunited last year. Dixie had been living with a foster family for a year.

"We were involved with DCF there for a little while and she was in foster care so this was not a thing that I wanted to happen," said O'Sickey.

O'Sickey says the doctors say Dixie has no brain damage, but she will need to be monitored for any long-term effects.

"I want to thank everybody that prayed for her, you guys are awesome, and I just really really appreciate it. I got my little girl back."

For more information on water safety, click here.


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