Alise Nipper, a 3-year-old girl who “drowned” in a swimming pool and lost her heartbeat for 12 minutes, defied medical expectations when she came back to life and recovered fully at the hospital with no injuries from the accident.
Alise was attending a pool party with her mother, Jamie Nipper, in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, on July 29, when she “drowned” in the pool apparently because she was not wearing a life jacket when she entered the water.
Jamie told KFVS-TV that she and Alise were swimming in the pool with the host and guests on a hot and sunny day when they noticed lightning in the distance that suggested a brewing storm. As everyone left the pool and moved indoors, Jamie noticed her daughter by her side, but when next she looked the little girl was not there.
She said she had wanted to instruct her daughter to keep her life jacket on but she changed her mind and she took it off. But as she was walking toward the patio to join other guests at the party, she noticed suddenly that her daughter was missing.
“All of a sudden, I look over and she wasn’t there, where I last saw her.”
Terrified at the sudden discovery, she rushed back to the pool to search for her daughter.
She did not see Alise the first time she searched in the pool. But when she searched a second time she saw her foot sticking out from under a raft.
“Something took over me. I remember jumping across the pool, coming up and shouting, ‘Dial 911.’ I was praying while I grabbed her that she would start coughing as if she’d just fallen in…”
Alise was “blue” and showed no signs of life when she was pulled from the water but her mother refused to give up hope and continued performing CPR for 12 minutes until there was a pulse.
Heather Kyle, a nurse and CPR instructor who was also at the party, helped.
Kyle admitted she had very little hope at the time but she and Jamie continued performing CPR until an ambulance arrived.
But by the time the ambulance arrived Alise’s heartbeat had returned to the amazement of the women.
“She all of the sudden had color and pink lips. Her heart started and she started breathing, it was strong loud breaths.”
Alise was alive when she arrived at the Cardinal Glennon Children’s hospital in St. Louis. But her condition was so poor due to traumatic injury that doctors were pessimistic about her chances of survival and recovery.
Although no one knew for how long she was under the water, doctors feared that oxygen deprivation had damaged her brain tissue.
Dr. Jeremy Garrett told KFVS-TV that Alise suffered serious brain, lung, and body trauma.
“Her body and her brain were hurt. Her lungs took on severe injury which continued to be a problem.”
But little Alise confounded doctors and defied all medical expectations. She regained consciousness after six days and doctors removed her ventilator after reducing sedation. She greeted her mother and her father, Chris, and began talking and singing.
She returned home two weeks after achieving full recovery from traumatic injuries. She was also able to return to the pool despite her traumatic experience there.
While Alise fought for her life at the hospital, friends of the family started a Facebook page, asking everyone to Boldly Pray For Alise.
Alise’s parents believe that the prayers caused their daughter’s full recovery despite suffering serious traumatic injuries to the brain and body.
Doctors were stunned to see that she had recovered fully without any effects of her injury. According to Garrett, some doctors believed that divine intervention was responsible.
“For her brain to come through this and be as functional as possible is astounding. Prayer and luck and divine intervention were the key factors.”
“Her brain has gotten through it, her lungs recovered and as near as we can tell she’s back to functioning as high level a 3-year-old can,” he said.
Alise’s father, Chris, said he was “extremely grateful” for the opportunity to have his daughter back.
“I’m thankful every night. I’m extremely grateful we have more of a chance to have her on earth with us,” he said.
[Images: Facebook/Boldly Pray For Alise]