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#alyssapappas #evanpappas ##southcarolina #avistaresort #neardrowning #drowning #lazyriver
The first pictures have emerged of the 12-year-old boy who nearly drowned after spending eight minutes trapped underwater in a South Carolina resort pool.
Alyssa Pappas said it is a miracle that her son Evan is still alive after his leg became caught in the lazy river's suction line.
Evan was in a medically-induced coma for three days and had to spend eight days on a ventilator. But he is now back home in Michigan and has returned to school.
There were a total of three days roughly when we didn't even know if he was going to open his eyes or what would happen once they did stop the medicine to wake him up,' she told the TODAY show. 'It's just a miracle I think.' Pappas said Evans still struggles with shortness of breath and is often tired. They are worried he may have suffered long-term brain damage. 'It's been very traumatic for our family,' she added. It's kind of a waiting game to see how he heals and how quickly it happens.' A surveillance video captured the terrifying moment rescuers battled to save Evan at the Avista Resort in North Myrtle Beach on March 19.
Evan and a friend were playing in the pool when they pried off a safety grate that was covering a powerful suction pipe.
A piece of Evan's goggle had broken and fallen under the grate and the boys were hoping to retrieve it, Pappas said.
'They didn't have a tool. They just moved the grate and a powerful filtration system sucked Evan underwater,' the family's attorney, Mike Morse, told WDIV-TV.
That's when Evan's leg became stuck. His friend first tried to help him before frantically screaming to the nearby adults.
A number of adults jumped into the pool as they attempted to pull Evan out – with one family friend performing underwater mouth-to-mouth to keep him breathing.
Morse said that Evan's knee became stuck between the suction and a metal bar. 'It took four people to bend this bar and get him free,' he added.
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