North Texas

Flower Mound Mother Warns Parents How Quiet a Drowning Can Be

A Flower Mound mother said she was struck by how quickly — and how quietly — her daughter nearly drowned.

Two years ago, when Jessica Johnson was 3 years old, she almost drowned in her backyard pool. Her mother, Lori Johnson, is recounting the horror of what happened that day in August 2014 as a lesson for other parents.

"There was no splashing, no screaming," Lori Johnson said. "There was crying but it was under the water and it couldn't be heard. It was completely silent."

The family had some friends over that day. Jessica's father was watching the children in the pool, but was briefly distracted.

"For one, two seconds, at the most," Lori Johnson said.

Jessica had gone inside for a bathroom break, took off her flotation device, and jumped back in the far side of the pool with nobody knowing.

Then her 8-year-old brother happened to see her.

"He popped up and started screaming, 'Jessica is dead on the bottom of the pool,'" Lori Johnson said. "And he was terrified."

The girl's father dove in and pulled her out. A friend called 911. Her mother started CPR.

"While I was doing CPR, I was just screaming at her, 'Breathe, Jessica, breathe. Breathe. Come on, breathe for mommy," she said. "She did start to gasp for air."

Doctors put her in a medical coma to reduce swelling in her brain. She didn't wake up for five days.

Jessica now takes swimming lessons at nearby Aqua Kids. Manager Matt Johnson, who trains lifeguards, stresses how fast a drowning can happen, and also how quiet it can be.

"Drowning is going to be definitely the quietness," he said.

Johnson said she hopes what happened to her can be a lesson for other parents.

"We are completely blessed that we have our little girl with us and she is doing so well," she said.

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