Toddler struggles to recover after drowning incident - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Toddler struggles to recover after drowning incident

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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – A two-year-old girl is in the fight for her life after drowning in her family's swimming pool; her heart stopped for 45 minutes, said the family.

Every day the Beasley family travels to MUSC as Gracelynn struggles to recover. Today, doctors moved her to a private room where they were able to hold her for the first time since the accident.

Stubborn, sweet, smiling - that's how the Beasley family described two-year-old Gracelynn.

"She's always running around and screaming and I just can't wait for her to come home and yell ‘daddy,'" expressed James Beasley as he talked about his daughter.

New images are flooding their vision of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby smiling.

Picturing her now in a hospital room, "seems like it is just a big nightmare..." Connie Beasley started to say as she described the day she was watching over her granddaughter Gracie.

Connie explained on Tuesday she was outside with Gracie when a friend of hers went to leave. Connie walked inside to say goodbye, keeping an eye on the child playing outside with a kitchen set.

"I saw her through the window and she was okay, so I came back in to go to the bathroom," she said.

Moments later, Gracie's dad, James, came home and Gracie was nowhere to be found.

"We ran through the house, couldn't find her, they were in the driveway. And that's when I saw her floating in the pool. We snatched her out and called 911," Connie said, fighting back tears while recalling the second she saw her granddaughter floating in the family's pool.

The toddler so full of life and smiles was floating lifeless in the pool outside.

Connie performed CPR on the small child and says emergency responders got to the house quickly, just before 6 o'clock. 

"They didn't get her heartbeat back until 6:40 - she had been dead for 45 minutes or so," she said.

"When I got to the hospital, they came down and said they were going to have some priests come down and talk to me…and I didn't know what to think," recalled Gracie's dad, James.

Forty-five minutes after they found Gracie floating in the pool, finally, there was a heartbeat.

"When she woke up Wednesday she looked good. She tried to talk, but her tongue and everything was swollen I guess from biting on it and from the tubes," said Connie, adding that Gracie is now off the ventilator, but suffers from brain damage.

Tonight, the family said she still wasn't able to move, but she seems to be doing okay. Doctors told them she will need to remain at MUSC for another three weeks and will possibly be moved to a rehab facility.

The family has set up a fund in Gracelynn's name to help with traveling and medical costs, it can be found here: 

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