Parenting & Paediatrics

Drowning really does happen quickly and quietly

I have read so many times that drowning does not look like what we think it looks like and that it in fact happens quickly and quietly. I knew that a child who is busy drowning does not actually splash around and cry for help like the film industry makes us believe. It is however so different to experience this for yourself than to read about it.

Before the incident

The other day I was blessed with a huge gift from the Universe.

I was in the right place at the right time. I was able to experience the feels about how drowning happens. I had the absolute privilege and honour of pulling a child out of a swimming pool. He was alive. He had only been in the water for seconds.

While I was still somewhat in shock later that evening, I shared this life changing experience on my Instagram and Facebook handles.

View this post on Instagram

Today I prevented a child from drowning ???? It was no heroic act. It was simply a natural and human reflex and an out of body experience. It all happened in split seconds and slow motion at the same time, for me. The little boy is 3 years old. It was his sister’s 1st Birthday party. He is one of Poppet’s besties and they are one of our neighbors. There were many adults outside. I happened to be the one who had my eyes on this boy as the accident happened. He was running along the side of the swimming pool and laughing. He looked behind him to see where his friend was and in that moment he lost his balance and one foot went into the pool. As the rest of his body followed into the water, I launched after him. I don’t know how far away I was and I don’t know how I got there so quickly. In that moment all I saw was his face sinking down in slow motion. The next moment his head was above water. Then, a moment stood still as he opened his mouth with a look in his big brown eyes that I will never forget. I was just shaking and crying. I don’t know who took him from me but there were many people around. I came upstairs to change. The amount of water in my boots from mere seconds in the pool gave me even more chills. When I eventually calmed down, got changed and went back to the party, the amount of thanks I received was almost too overwhelming in my vulnerable state. People told me things like: “It must have been freezing?” and “Is your phone okay?” This is very kind and caring, especially when you don’t really know some of the people. But guys, my senses were numb. I didn’t feel any cold. Who cares about a phone? I started drinking wine ???? and my nerves are almost calmed. The little boy was a bit traumatized. His parents gave him a warm bath, loads of love and a fresh change of clothes. He returned to the party too and he was his good old self. Little boy, my angel, today you made me FEEL and SEE again how truly vulnerable we are and how quickly and slowly things happen. You showed me how majestic life itself is. For that, I am forever grateful. Thank you my darling, I’m so glad you’re okay. #powerofthepresentmoment #drowningprevention #minewasnoheroicact #soaked

A post shared by Candid Corders – Poppet Patch (@candidcorders) on

The response I received was overwhelming.

The most profound shock that hit me even later was this.

The people who were standing right next to the little boy didn’t hear him falling into the pool.

Most of the other people were unaware of the sound of me jumping in.

Towards the end of the party a little girl of around 10 years old came up to me to ask me why I have changed my outfit. There were people there who were still unaware of the tragedy that almost happened right in front of them all.

Here is my take from witnessing and rescuing a child who was about to drown.

My message is that drowning really happens so super-fast. It is a completely silent occurrence.

More importantly, I did not witness any baton of guilt, you guys.

The present moment is always perfect as it is. Forgive me for writing about this graphic experience of mine in exactly the way I saw it and felt it. No parent is irresponsible for not having their eyes on their child for every second of the day.

It is our true responsibility to be living our lives in the present moment.

To realize that our power is in the now, the very presence of being. That is the true difference between living and existing. It is our responsibility to celebrate life. To embrace our vulnerability. To truly live our precious lives. To treasure our family and friends. To have fun and play music. To have our kids running around and enjoying themselves.

Parents have contacted me to thank me for my post about this. Some say they feel that God put me in the right spot at the calculated time. The way I see it is that the gift of the experience was mine. I didn’t get the feeling that it was only my gift to keep and that was my motivation to share it with you.

To the parents who have lost children to drowning, I don’t have words for you. Only love.

I am so overwhelmed by gratitude for this little boy and the experience he brought along my way while I attend the University of Life. Thanks, precious boy. Keep rocking it!

To his parents, thanks again for inviting us to the party!

If you get the feeling to share this post with a parent that comes to mind, please do. Let’s pass on the love.

I will be sharing my graphic and emotional experience of witnessing the inherent drowning reflex in a follow up post. I have added the Drowning Reflex topic as an extension to my Nose Breathing campaign and I spoke to ENT surgeon Dr. Raymond Friedman to find out more about this natural phenomenon.

With Love and Gratitude,

After the incident









  • Simone Cameron

    I’ve been writing and editing a post on an actual drowning for weeks now and just finished it yesterday. I could barely get through it without crying….so hard to read…so seeing this…. just gave me the chills. I wrote a post last year about how I almost lost my own son , but purely from adult negligence I would say…. Nobody closed the pool gate…the nanny didn’t know where he was…the guilt haunts me still, 2yrs later. Our kids deserve better.

    So glad you were present….in the right spot at the right time. I believe you won’t even hear a splash when they fall in. Heartbreaking stuff!

    PS Glad your phone survived. lol

    • Laetitia Corder

      Your comment gives me the chills. So glad your boy is okay. The doctor I have been working with told me that they deal with 5 – 6 drowning and near drowning cases as Sandton Medi-Clinic each summer. He says it’s very seldom due to gates being left open or nets not being put back on, it’s mostly not the case of negligence. It most commonly happens under supervision. The unjustified guilt must be a terrible thing to work through. Also, I can’t bare to imagine the rollercoaster of emotions because I too battled with just writing this post of an incident where “nothing happened”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

join the mailing list

Have you missed a blog post?

Subscribe to get updates straight to your inbox.