Kiwi mum of near-drowned toddler speaks out

Kiwi mum of near-drowned toddler speaks out

The New Zealand mother of a Perth toddler who nearly drowned last week has spoken of the heartbreaking moment she thought he was dead.

Against the odds, little Eli survived and now faces a long and difficult recovery.

His mum, Kiwi Phillipa Wairangi, has been told he might never walk, talk, or smile again.

Her son climbed into his Nan's portable pool using a chair. There was no fence surrounding the pool.

His Nan pulled him out, unconscious, and started CPR. After 42 minutes he still had no pulse.

Ms Wairangi says she thought she'd lost him for good.

"To come back after that amount of time was like a huge miracle," she says.

He now has what's called a catastrophic brain injury. Ms Wairangi has been told his recovery will be difficult and he might never regain his personality.

"That was hard, I think that was harder to hear than that he couldn't walk or talk," she says.

But in milestone this week, Ms Wairangi was able to cuddle her boy for the first time in eight days, with his dad and brothers, Ezra and Eaton.

And in another special moment today, Eli turned two.

His mum has just one birthday wish.

"Just to see him open his eyes, to see him awake. He keeps just smashing every single milestone that they give him. Everything he does is a miracle."

She doesn't blame anyone for what happened; instead she just wants her boy better and for people to realise even portable pools should be fenced.

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