6-year-old pulls drowning toddler twin cousins from pool

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CALHOUN, La. (AP) — A 6-year-old boy pulled his drowning toddler twin cousins from a backyard pool in Louisiana.

Branson Lee pulled his own little brother from the pool’s top step, then saw his 21-month-old cousins floating face-down. He hauled them out and yelled for help, Steven Kelley, the twins’ father, said Wednesday.

Kelley says the twins were limp and “blue as a pair of blue jeans” when he began CPR about 10 p.m. Sunday, and their speedy and complete recovery is a miracle.

“Anybody can bring a pulse back. I’m a first responder at work, and I’m blessed to have that training,” he said told The Associated Press in a phone interview from Calhoun, a northeast Louisiana town about 15 miles west of Monroe. “But I cannot do anything to bring them back to themselves.”

The twins’ mother, Jeannie Kelley, told The News-Star of Monroe that after 30 seconds, Kaden began coughing up water and breathing. Another 30 seconds later, Isaac did, too.

Steven Kelley said the boys were breathing shallowly when a firetruck arrived. Rescue workers gave them oxygen, and they were airlifted to a hospital in Shreveport, in northwest Louisiana.

“Within 30 minutes, they were talking in sentences,” he said. “Praise to God we’re not dealing with two boys who are intubated with no brain functions.”

Just that morning, Kelley said, both sides of the family were in church to dedicate the twins to God.

He said that while he drove to Shreveport, he prayed, “God, we dedicated these babies to you. We entrusted their welfare and safety to you. We want them back, nothing less than perfect.” Later, he learned that his pastor had texted much the same prayer to start a “prayer chain” that had a thousand people praying within 10 minutes.

By Monday morning, he said, they had pulled out their IV tubes out. Doctors “sent them home after 36 hours because the children were jumping off the window sill,” he said.

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