Neighbors rescue boy, 5, from apartment pool

The swimming pool at the Wingate Apartments in Kentwood. (May 25, 2015)


KENTWOOD, Mich. (WOOD) — A 5-year-old boy found unresponsive at the bottom of a swimming pool at a Kentwood apartment complex is alive thanks to some quick action by strangers.

It happened on Sunday at the Windgate Apartments near 32nd Street and Shaffer Avenue SE in Kentwood.

Around 7:30 p.m., Cynthia Sanders opened her door to find a distressed 9-year-old.

“Something didn’t sound right. It sounded like a panicky kind of knock, “said Sanders.  “I was like what’s wrong? What’s the problem? He said, ‘my brother is drowning.’ And that right there just sunk my heart.”

Sanders can’t swim so she grabbed her daughter, Rashana Wardlow, and headed towards the pool where they could see a black silhouette in the water.

“The closer we get we realize it’s a child at the bottom of the pool,” said Wardlow.

Wardlow panicked, she tried to get to the pool but it was closed off by a locked gate. The pool had not yet opened for the season.

“I even ran all the way around the building to try to see if there was a way to get there; trying to climb over. Finally, the little boy said, ‘you know I can climb over and let you in?’”

He did and Wardlow jumped in the pool and got the boy, Aaron Kamara, out of the water. Her mom called 911.

“He was lying face-down in the bottom of the pool, just perfectly still,” Wardlow said.

She said his body was blue and he was foaming from his nose. Wardlow performed CPR until the ambulance arrived.

“It was a horrifying experience to go through and I hope I never have to go through it again,” she said.

By the time Kamara arrived at the hospital, he was breathing again.  It’s unclear how he ended up in the water.

Also unknown is where his parents were at the time. At the time, police say Kamara was under the care of his grandmother who lives at the apartment complex. He lives in Grand Rapids with his mother.

As of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Kamara was listed in critical condition.

The incident remains under investigation by the Kentwood Police Department and Child Protective Services.

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