The story of Heitor Nagel, a four-year-old Brazilian boy, is making the news in Brazil and beyond. The boy fell into the brand-new swimming pool at his home in Joinville, Santa Catarina (Brazil), and drowned. According to video from the home’s security camera, he remained underwater for around 11 minutes.
Half an hour without breathing
The boy’s father noticed an unusual silence in the house and went out to investigate. Upon seeing the boy in the water, he ran and jumped into the pool to save him. “When I saw him in there, I didn’t think anything of it, I ran as fast as I could, got him out of the pool and started first aid, but he had no pulse, his pupils were dilated, he was all purple,” said Jean Paulo, Heitor’s father, to a Brazilian TV network.
The boy spent around 30 minutes without breathing. Meanwhile, his older brother remained on his knees at the edge of the pool, praying for his little brother’s life. “I just asked for help, not to let him go without me telling him I loved him,” he said.
One of the rescuers who attended to Heitor confirmed that the boy had stopped breathing, had no reflexes, and was showing signs of brain death.
The first responders managed to get the boy breathing again, and put him on oxygen immediately. Then, they took the boy by helicopter to hospital. There, the doctors told the family that the child’s condition was extremely serious and that if there were no signs of brain activity within 72 hours, they would declare the boy brain dead.
A few days before the accident, Heitor’s mother had commented to one of the boy’s aunts that he had not yet been baptized and that she would like the boy to receive the sacrament. When the aunt heard about the tragedy, the woman asked a priest to go to the hospital.
According to Gaudium Press, Heitor was baptized in the presence of his mother and Sister Elizabeth, a nun who is the director of the hospital.