Utah family thanks first responders, strangers for saving life of 3-year-old son

Posted at 9:59 PM, Sep 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-13 23:59:39-04

CENTERVILLE, Utah - On Tuesday, a Utah family held a dinner to thank first responders and strangers for saving the life of their son who nearly drowned in a pool in July.

“The more we piece it together the more we can't call it anything but a miracle,” said Annie Ross, the toddler's mother.

Coleman Ross' parents say their 3-year-old remembers all too well what happened July 12 at this Centerville apartment pool.

“It's kind of a mom's worse nightmare to get that call,” Ross said.

Body camera footage captures the moments of that nightmare almost becoming a reality.

Annie Ross was out of the country at the time and her sister was watching her children. But while swimming, Coleman got out of his life vest and found him at the bottom of the pool.

“His body was lifeless he was pale and black lips just lifeless,” said Leah Elam.  “All of the sudden I got really calm and I heard just take him take him.”

People on scene began CPR.

“She looked at me and she said it doesn’t look good and I said you have to keep going,” Elam said.

Just around the corner, an off-duty Utah Highway Patrol sergeant on his way home heard the call on the scanner.

“I was literally around the corner it took me 35 seconds from when I got the call and was able to show up,” said Sgt. Chamberlain Neff.

Neff helped perform CPR and Coleman started showing signs of life.

“When you put it point blank like that,” Neff said choking up. “I'm glad it didn't have the ‘what if's.’”

“Every time I see him I just think to myself he shouldn’t be here and he is and I can't believe it,” Elam said.

“It's impossible to voice the kind of gratitude that you have to the people who would do something on a daily basis like this,” Ross said.