‘It’s just a miracle’: Mom of 12-year-old boy who was trapped underwater for eight minutes after his leg became stuck in a pool’s suction line said that her son is lucky to be alive
- Alyssa Pappas’ son Evan was trapped at Avista Resort in North Myrtle Beach, SC
- He was in a medically-induced coma for three days, spent 8 days on ventilator
- Evan is back home in Michigan and in school but is still struggling, Pappas said
- The family are concerned that he may have suffered long-term brain damage
- Pappas said her family is now planning a lawsuit against the oceanfront resort
The first pictures have emerged of the 12-year-old boy who nearly drowned after spending eight minutes trapped underwater in a South Carolina resort pool.
Alyssa Pappas said it is a miracle that her son Evan is still alive after his leg became caught in the lazy river’s suction line.
Evan was in a medically-induced coma for three days and had to spend eight days on a ventilator. But he is now back home in Michigan and has returned to school.
The first pictures have emerged of the 12-year-old boy named Evan who nearly drowned after spending eight minutes trapped underwater in a South Carolina resort pool
Alyssa Pappas said it is a miracle that her son Evan is still alive after his leg became caught in the lazy river’s suction line at the Avista Resort in North Myrtle Beach
Pappas said the ordeal has been ‘traumatic’ for the family and that they are playing a ‘waiting game’ to see how he heals
‘There were a total of three days roughly when we didn’t even know if he was going to open his eyes or what would happen once they did stop the medicine to wake him up,’ she told the TODAY show.
‘It’s just a miracle I think.’
Pappas said Evans still struggles with shortness of breath and is often tired. They are worried he may have suffered long-term brain damage.
‘It’s been very traumatic for our family,’ she added. It’s kind of a waiting game to see how he heals and how quickly it happens.’
Pappas said Evans still struggles with shortness of breath and is often tired. They are worried he may have suffered long-term brain damage
Evan is now back home in Michigan and has returned to school since the scary ordeal
A surveillance video captured the terrifying moment rescuers battled to save Evan at the Avista Resort in North Myrtle Beach on March 19.
Evan and a friend were playing in the pool when they pried off a safety grate that was covering a powerful suction pipe.
A piece of Evan’s goggle had broken and fallen under the grate and the boys were hoping to retrieve it, Pappas said.
‘They didn’t have a tool. They just moved the grate and a powerful filtration system sucked Evan underwater,’ the family’s attorney, Mike Morse, told WDIV-TV.
That’s when Evan’s leg became stuck. His friend first tried to help him before frantically screaming to the nearby adults.
Evan’s friend tried in vain to free him after his leg got stuck and then yelled to the nearby adults for help
A family friend performed underwater mouth-to-mouth to keep Evan alive until emergency responders arrived on the scene
A number of adults jumped into the pool as they attempted to pull Evan out – with one family friend performing underwater mouth-to-mouth to keep him breathing.
Morse said that Evan’s knee became stuck between the suction and a metal bar.
‘It took four people to bend this bar and get him free,’ he added.
Officers from the North Myrtle Beach Police Department arrived at the scene around 9.30pm and were able to pull Evan out before beginning CPR.
‘It was scary. It seemed to happen fast but take forever at the same time,’ Pappas said. ‘Just to see him being pulled out of the water, it was very hard.’
‘It should’ve been safe,’ she added. ‘No one should be able to lift something so dangerous.’
Officers from North Myrtle Beach police department arrived at the scene around 9.30pm and were able to pull Evan out before beginning CPR
The family’s lawyer said they are planning to file a lawsuit against Avista Resort, which he claims was negligent
Morse said the family is planning to file a lawsuit against Avista Resort, which he claims was negligent.
‘They didn’t have proper screws. South Carolina law is very clear that they need corrosion-proof screws in grates, and they didn’t have it,’ he said.
Avista Resorts has since fired back that its lazy river was ‘safe for all our guests’.
‘Evidence confirms that the boy and his companion dislodged the grate before he caught his foot in the intake,’ the statement reads.
‘With the grates in place, our lazy river is safe for all our guests.’
Pappas said she is grateful Evan is alive and is now speaking out with the hopes that other families can learn from her experience.
‘You’re on vacation, you think you can take it easy and relax, but even with adult supervision things can happen and it happens very quickly,’ she said.
‘I just hope this keeps somebody from going through what we went through.’
Avista Resorts has since said in a statement that its lazy river was ‘safe for all our guests’
The Avista Resort describes itself as one of North Myrtle Beach’s leading oceanfront hotels
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Pictured: Tragic girl, 15, who died after swimming in a dam