APPLETON - Emergency crews say the quick reaction from nearby parents helped save a 14-month-old girl from drowning.
It happened Thursday at a pond at Memorial Park in Appleton.
Friday, one of those rescuers is sharing how she felt about being in the right place at the right time.
It's a parent's worst nightmare. You turn your back for just a split second and your child is gone.
It's the scenario that played out at Appleton's Memorial Park Thursday and it nearly took the life of a 14-month-old girl.
Appleton police say a mother and her two children were playing at the park. Shortly before 11:30, the little girl wandered away from her mother.
Kayla St. Marie was at the park with her 3-year-old son for a picnic. She says she and a dozen other parents aided in the search.
"She kind of started asking other parents, have you seen my daughter, this is what she is wearing, this is her name, this is how old she is, please help me find her,” said St. Marie.
St. Marie says the girl was missing for about 10 minutes. She and others had searched the playground and were headed for the pond just a few yards away.
"As I was walking toward the water, I saw this little girl being pulled out of the water and I just immediately reacted,” said St. Marie.
And that's when Kayla St. Marie, a nursing student put her training into practice.
"She was under there for quite awhile, long enough that I knew time was of the essence and I immediately started CPR."
A move that gave the little girl a fighting chance.
"I think that with this young lady not only being a mom but like you said, having the nursing training, her response was not only professional but also may have saved a life in this case,” said Dave Reigles, Appleton Fire Department.
The girl was rushed to Appleton Medical Center. There she continued to show positive signs before being transferred to Children's Hospital in Wauwatosa. Her current condition is unknown.
Friday the sounds of children playing returned to the park. While St. Marie says her thoughts are still with the little girl and her family.
St. Marie says she hopes the incident will encourage others to get basic CPR training.
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