A Father’s Day Miracle: Family Speaks About 3-Year Old’s Near Drowning
In the heart of every little girl, her daddy is her hero. For a 3-year old Walnut Hill girl found floating lifeless face down in a pool, her daddy truly is her hero.
“I can swim,” Maggie Scott, 3, proclaimed Saturday morning, as she showed off her new kittens Max and Ruby.
Like most adventurous children, Maggie thought she could swim, and she decided, when no one was looking, to try. It was a mistake that would alter the lives of her family in a major way.
The afternoon of May 27 was to be a family time. They were headed to a local creek to enjoy the water, but decided to stop at a someone’s home in the Bay Springs community to use the pool instead. Maggie had played in the pool with the rest of her family, wearing arm-floats.
When Maggie and her sisters — McKenzie, 13; Madison, 9; and Mary Paige, 7; were done in the pool, it was time for skateboards and Ripstiks. The girls hit the boards, while the adults sat around talking.
Life would change in the blink of an eye.
Those were the heart-stopping words that older sister McKenzie screamed when she saw Maggie, floating face down in the pool. Mom and dad, Blair and Chad Scott, raced for the pool. Blair dove in and pulled Maggie out. No one knew how long the little girl had been in the pool.
Chad started CPR.
“My mind went where it didn’t need to go while I watched him do CPR,’ Blair said, “knowing what could be happening.”
With every thrust on his daughter’s chest, Chad said he just prayed.
“I keep telling her to come back to us; I kept telling her she was fine,” Blair said. “I wanted the nightmare to end; I wanted God to bring my little girl back to me.”
Chad continued CPR. One. Two. Three..
“Then I realized I had three little girls standing there, not knowing what was going on. Hit your knees. And pray,” she told them. “They cried, they screamed, they prayed.”
Chad continued the CPR. Breathe. Chest compressions. One. Two. Three…
Then, there was a cough.
Volunteer Firefighters from the Walnut Hill Station of Escambia Fire Rescue arrived. Atmore Ambulance sped down the long driveway. LifeFlight Air Ambulance landed. Maggie was quickly scooped up by a LifeFlight nurse who ran to the helicopter. Within minutes, she was at Sacred Heart an hour away by car in Pensacola ,but winthin minutes in a helicopter. Blair and Scott were left behind in Bay Springs, not knowing what was happening with their little girl. A family friend drove them to the hospital, where Maggie was still in the emergency room. She was transferred to an intensive care room.
It was a serious situation. A ventilator breathed for Maggie for 28 hours, doctors and nurses standing nearby at the ready. It was a lot for a mom and dad to deal with.
Blair and Chad both knew at the time that Maggie could have permanent disabilities caused by the lack of oxygen to her brain.
“We just gave it to God,” Blair said. Their family, their church family…they all prayed. They were joined by perhaps thousands of people they will never know that prayed after reading Maggie’s story.
Miracles don’t just happen, Chad said. “God works miracles.”
There’s no doubt in Blair and Chad’s minds that there lives were changed in a big way by the whole ordeal. For Chad, it meant being saved and accepting his Savior all over again.
“I thought I got saved before, but I realized,” he said, “and I made a promise to do what He needs me to do.”
A few weeks after the accident, Maggie is a vibrant little girl, with no obvious lasting impact from her ordeal.
“We have blueberries,” she said Saturday morning as she walked through the family’s backyard in search of a cool, shady place for the photos on this page. “They are purple,” she observed. “They are not blue.”
She smiles and grabs a dandelion, blowing it into the wind toward Chad, very much to her delight. It was a prelude to her big Father’s Day plans.
“Guess what I am going to do to you for Father’s Day?” she asked Chad. Her grin grew bigger as she put her hands behind her back and twirled around. “I’m going to throw a flower at you!”
The family specifically asked us to offer their thanks to: the Walnut Hill Fire Department (Chris Brown, Kevin Mininger, Dennis Rigby, Gerry Steege, Tab Jernigan, Bill Eubanks, Brian Rolin, Chad Rigby, Johnathon Koehn, Diann Stewart); Atmore Ambulance (Dianna Chavers, Tom Benner); and the LifeFlight Crew (Tom Bruner, Angie Finkel, Norman Lacsamana).
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