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Mother Recounts Worst Nightmare: Toddler’s Near-Drowning


Ashley Raymond is so very grateful that her 18-month-old toddler, Marlie, is doing so well, just two days after she nearly drowned in an irrigation pond at her grandmother’s Tumalo home.

It’s a mother’s worst nightmare. One minute you watch your child playing in the yard — the next she’s gone.

“I hollered into (her husband, also named) Ashley and said, ‘I can’t find Marlie!'”

The worried mother ran frantically toward the farmhouse, while her husband instinctively headed for the irrigation pond.

“And all I heard was, ‘Oh my God! Oh my God! No no no no!”

In a split second, their 18-month-old toddler had somehow slipped in, and was underwater – unconscious.

“All I saw was a limp blue baby being thrown onto the ground,” her mother said tearfully, “because he had to jump out of the pond, and I ran over there as fast as I could.”

Both parents immediately started CPR on the tiny child, deserately trying to bring their daughter back to life.

“When we pulled her out of the pond, she had no pulse and she was – she was dead,” Raymond said.

As precious time was slipping away, Bend firefighters from the Tumalo station also were rushing to beat the clock, arriving within minutes.

“We were all jumping up and down and yelling, ‘We’re over here! We’re over here!'” she recalled.

Raymond said the firefighters rushed her daughter to St. Charles Medical Center-Bend, she eventually regained consciousness.

“Her dad had saved her life, by doing CPR,” Raymond said. “She would not be here if he hadn’t done anything.”

After spending a night in the hospital for observation, Marlie plays, sings and acts as if it never happened.

“She’s the same old stubborn 2-year-old,” Raymond said.

But for the mom, it’s an experience that almost haunts her. She says she’s learned a lot from it, and hopes it helps other parents stay aware.

“I will never look at my children the same – ever,” she said. “They will always be more precious to me than anyone could imagine.

The Raymond family thanked the firefighters from Tumalo for their quick response.

Except for a few bumps, Marlie has fully recovered, and her family said she’d be watching Sunday night’s fireworks with her grandmother.

July 3, 2010: Tumalo Toddler Nearly Drowns in Irrigation Pond

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