Guard saves drowning girl, 3

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DAILY NEWS

Tamia Fleming and Jacques Kruger share a moment when he visited her at home after she was discharged from hospital on Tuesday. His quick response saved her when she was found floating in the Durban familys pool.

Durban - A security guard who was “in the right place at the right time” saved a little girl who almost drowned in the family’s pool.

Three-year-old Tamia Fleming owes her life to Jacques Kruger, a reaction unit officer with Blue Security, who happened to have been patrolling in the street nearby when he saw a woman run out into the street screaming.

Mum Samantha Fleming had run into the street calling for her neighbours to help after she saw Tamia, apparently lifeless, in the pool at her family’s Umbilo home on Sunday.

Thinking a crime was being committed, Kruger sprang into action, rushing to the house and performing CPR on the little girl, whose lips had already turned blue.

“When I saw her lifeless body on the ground I knew that I had to do everything to try and save her,” Kruger said in an interview on Wednesday. “I performed CPR and continued with it until her body started to react to it. She started breathing very slowly and I could feel her pulse.”

Fleming said she would forever be thankful to Kruger for saving her daughter.

She said she was at home with her three children while her husband Remo was at a soccer game.

“It was hot and the kids wanted to swim and I decided to have an afternoon braai,” she said.

Fleming said her two sons, who are 5 and 8 years old, were swimming while Tamia sat on a step in the pool. “She has always been nervous around water and would only be comfortable with going into the water if my husband or I were with her. As she sat on the pool step about three feet away from me, I turned to light the fire for the braai.

“When I turned back to look at her about 40 seconds later, I saw her body floating,” she said.

Fleming said her sons had been playing under the water and had not seen Tamia.

“I got the shock of my life and jumped in for her. When I got her out, her stomach was huge, her eyes were open, she was not breathing, I was holding my dead daughter in my hands,” she said. “I could not cope.”

Fleming screamed for help, and her landlord arrived to help. Fleming then ran out onto the road and screamed for her neighbours; that was when Kruger heard her.

Paramedics took Tamia to King Edward VIII Hospital where she was kept for observation.

She was discharged on Tuesday and is already back in the pool.

“The doctors say that she is fine. When we brought her home all she wanted to do was swim,” Fleming said.

“I am still very traumatised by what happened but Tamia is fine. I am so grateful for Jacques; no words can describe how thankful I am for what he did,” she said.

“I never thought that something like this would happen, I am always very cautious with my children. I thank God that he sent Jacques to save my child.”

This is the second time the eManzimtoti resident has saved a life.

While in Joburg a few years ago, Kruger saved a man who was having a heart attack.

“I am always willing to help someone, I feel so good that I saved this little girl,” he said. “She is so beautiful and full of life.”

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