Beautiful: 10-yr-old with Downs Syndrome helps save 2-yr-old who fell into pool

This story had so much pick-up on AmP twitter yesterday that I had to share it with the blog community as well – the story was sent to me by an AmP reader who knows the family well:

Grandma’s CPR revives drowning toddler

One Wilbraham family very nearly lost a toddler who fell in the pool, nearly drowned, and had to be revived.

It was a birthday pool party this family will never forget. Lianne Azevedo had 25 or 30 guests at her Bittersweet Lane home in Wilbraham Wednesday afternoon, when the joy turned to terror.

Azevedo told 22News she couldn’t believe what she saw when her 12 year old daughter Sophia came up to her in the back yard. “And I turned, and she was holding my grand-baby. Limp and blue.”

Certified in first aid, Lianne knew what to do almost instinctively.

“I put him on the ground, and I began CPR. And then he began to gurgle. And when he finally began to gurgle, I rolled him over, tried to get the water out of his lungs,” Azevedo said.

This rescue was a family effort. Lianne’s 12 year old daughter Sophia spotted the baby in the water after she was alerted by her 10 year old niece, Annie, who has Downs Syndrome. —WWLP

The AmP reader who sent in the story commented to me:

We know that 9 in 10 mothers who find that their child has Downs Syndrome choose to abort their children, but if they just knew how much of a blessing these children are, they would choose differently.  If Annie Walsh wasn’t there, it is possible that the two year old toddler wouldn’t have been rescued in time.




  • IDSC for LIfe

    We shared this story on our Facebook page! Great story, and thank you for helping get the word out there, that all life is precious!

  • convert45

    Great article, but slightly inaccurate when the stats at the end are sited.
    I think it would be more accurately stated this way: Two studies done in America have shown that between 85 and 90% of mothers who choose amniocentesis will abort their unborn babies with Down Syndrome. These women are pressured by their doctors, according to another study, into not bringing “burdensome life” into the world.
    So – Yay Annie! And Yay to Annie’s mom. And “Good Job!” to you American Papist for bringing this story into a national format. These stories are too few, and this issue is under-reported.

  • Davide

    Wow what an amazing story I actually had tears. I had a twin who drowned and I have another brother who also has challenges he is autistic. Sadly Tom 67 percent of down-syndrom babies are killed by their mothers.

  • Michael B.

    Wow! What a beautiful example that illustrates well Pope Benedict’s words “Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary”. If it weren’t for God working through that little girl with Down’s Syndrome, that infant would likely have drowned.



Receive our updates via email.