Seymour mother shares son's near-drowning story as warning to other parents

SEYMOUR, Ind. (WDRB) –  A Seymour, Indiana, toddler is still fighting for his life after nearly drowning in a pool.

22-month-old Maddex was wide eyed and happy until a tragedy turned his parent’s world upside down.

“I don't know how to warn people except to share Maddie’s story,” said Maddie’s mom Christeen Elicio. “It can happen to anyone.”

Maddie, as he's called, got into the family's pool after another child accidentally left a back door open on Aug. 13. The children saw Maddie getting into the pool and that’s when they ran inside to get their mom, who was taking care of Maddie’s twin sister.

“I could see him across the pool. He was floating at the top face down. And then my husband ran out and he got to him first and pulled him out of the pool,” Elicio said.

Then, as if they were placed there for a reason, two Seymour police officers, who had been at another house in the area, came to help. The officers scooped him up and drove straight to the hospital while performing CPR.

“I do believe that Maddie would not be here right now if it wasn't for them being there,” Elicio said.

Maddie is believed to have been underwater for eight to 10 minutes. He is physically stable, but despite the officer’s life-saving efforts, every cortex of his brain has damage to it.

“With his brain damage, on a scale of 1-10, one being the best and ten being brain dead, he's a seven or eight,” said Maddie’s grandma Shamra Terry.

After countless hours of research -- the family hopes to start hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment-- which can promote brain re-growth. They say the cost for aggressive treatment for three months is about $24,000, and since the treatment is not covered by insurance, the family has started a GoFundMe page. They're hoping for a miracle.

The tragedy has greatly affected the family, especially his twin sister.

“Every morning she wakes up with Maddie there. They sleep in the same bed. I can't even separate them. And now when she wakes up he's not there to play with,” Elicio said.

If you’d like to help donate to Maddie’s GoFundMe page, click here.

A fundraiser for Maddie will also be held Sept. 24 at the VFW in Seymour from 1 p.m. - 6 p.m. More details will be posted on the Team Maddie Facebook page.

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