Several Fresno Fire Fighters were honored for helping save the life of a 16 month-old girl who almost drowned. Doctors say the little girl should have died and it's a miracle that she's alive.
The 16 month-old's family wants to warn people that any child can drown, no matter how many safety precautions are around the pool.
Vicki Allen-Westburg says she was baby-sitting her granddaughter Natalia back in January. They were playing outside when Westburg ran into the house for a minute. When she came back out, Westburg couldn't find her granddaughter.
"My first thought was she has to be here, she has to be here, I just saw her and I could hear her playing, she was chasing the cat," says Westburg, "Then I went through the beginning of the panic stage of okay she's not in the side yard, the front gates are completely secured, she couldn't have gotten into the front yard, and she must of gotten into the house."
Westburg says as she turned towards the house she had a gut feeling to check the pool. The grandmother says that's when she saw Natalia floating in the water.
"I yelled out, 'No God, don't do this,' and I started running toward the pool and when I ran I tore a leg muscle. I ended up crawling to the pool and jumped in and lifted her up," says Westburg, "She was blue and gray."
Westburg started performing CPR and yelled for help. No one could hear her, so she ran into the house with the 16 month-old and called 911.
"She looked so incredibly tiny on that gurney," says Westburg. "They were getting ready to take her out the door and I stopped them and said, 'Please tell me something, you can't just take her, you gotta tell me something.' The fireman said, 'Her heart's beating, she's trying to breathe on her own, and she needs a lot of help we gotta go."
At the hospital Westburg says they were told if Natalia survived she would never be the same again.
"It wasn't until four days after that we realized our prayers had been answered and she was going to be fine," says Westburg, "She was back to her same personality, same mannerisms, same smile, same everything."
Natalia's grandparents say she got past the safety gate because it was accidentally left open.