Lindsay Wilcox, NBC 5 News
A North Texas family warns others about pool safety after nearly losing their son to a backyard drowning.
A North Texas mother whose son nearly drowned in a backyard pool says parents need to be vigilant while their children are in a pool.
"Being at the pool or by a body of water is so much more than being with your kids," Jennifer West said. "You have to be vigilant, and you have to be watching the water."
Her 7-year-old son, Connor, who swims like a fish, nearly died last year.
"We were at a friend's backyard pool for a Bible study barbecue," West said. "There were six couples, and I think about 12 or 13 kids."
Connor was surrounded by people, and his mother was standing on the edge of the pool. She turned her head long enough to get dry clothes from a nearby bag, and that's when it happened.
"I come back up, and I see him facedown, laying on the bottom of the pool," West said. "I instantly knew that he was in trouble."
She jumped in to get him and brought him to the surface.
"He was completely blue and lifeless," West said. "His eyes were rolled back in his head. He was dead."
Fortunately, Connor's father, a trauma surgeon, successfully performed CPR.
"I never for one second doubted that he was going to be OK, but it was the huge flood of emotion of where we had just been on the precipice of what tragedy might have just happened," Jason West said.
Jennifer West said her life would be different if her son had not survived.
"I don't know how I could continue living and being a good mom for my other children or how I would go on without him," she said.
She said there is always a designated adult whose sole job is to watch the water when her children swim now. The designated adult cannot talk with friends, text or read books.
West said she also suggests parents sit with their feet in the water so they can see the entire bottom of the floor.