Doctors: Boy makes rare recovery after near-drowning

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NORWALK -

A 5-year-old New Canaan boy who nearly drowned at Chelsea Piers in Stamford has returned home.

Stamford police rushed to the pool last Thursday after the boy was trapped underwater for a full four minutes. The boy was airlifted from Stamford Hospital to Yale-New Haven Hospital due to seizures, a symptom of brain damage. He's now at home from the hospital, according to police.

"On Friday, he was taken off a ventilator, and reports say he was quickly able to ask for his mom, which is really positive," Stamford Police Capt. Richard Conklin said Monday. "This really is like a modern-day miracle."

Dr. Brooks Walsh, an emergency room physician at Bridgeport Hospital, say the boy's young age may have helped with the rapid recovery.

"Children are known to be fairly resilient after drownings," he says. "Adults are not nearly as resilient."

Walsh says that because children's brains are still developing, some areas will actually compensate for injuries elsewhere.

"There certainly can be long-term complications," Walsh adds. "There may be issues with memory or certain other functions. In his particular case, I don't know."

News 12 has learned that the Chelsea Piers lifeguard who was watching the pool when the boy went underwater will be interviewed by police next week, when his attorney is back in town.

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