A 9-year-old girl with cerebral palsy has gained attention after reports documented how she used her only available resources — an unusually loud scream — to alert her family that her baby brother had made his way to their backyard pool, thereby saving the 18-month-old infant from drowning.
The young hero, who was identified by CTV News as Lexie Comeau-Jackson, was getting ready to celebrate her ninth birthday party at her family’s Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, home. According to CTV News, she was watching her family make preparations for her birthday in the kitchen, using her wheelchair to move around as she often does. At that point, Lexie’s younger brother Leeland had just woke up from his nap and was brought down to the kitchen by his grandmother, Nancy Comeau-Drisdelle.
“Mom brought him downstairs for me,” recalled Lexie and Leeland’s mother, Kelly Jackson.
“We didn’t communicate about, oh the door isn’t locked.”
All it took was a few seconds for Leeland to slip out the patio door and make his way to the swimming pool, just as Comeau-Drisdelle’s back was turned. According to Jackson, this marked the first time Leeland was able to open the patio door. With Leeland headed out the back door unassisted, Lexie recognized that her younger brother might be putting himself at risk by entering the swimming pool, which prompted her to shriek and point at the door.
“She’s yelling and she’s pointing at the door, and I realize Leeland’s not with her,” Comeau-Drisdelle told CTV News.
“I took off outside and I’m not seeing him. I ran, and he’s right by the edge (of the pool) and I took him out.”
Jackson also shared her own recollection of her daughter Lexie’s call for help, noting that she was upstairs while Lexie was “screaming bloody murder,” yelling in a way that no one had ever heard before.
In the end, baby Leeland merely coughed up some water but was in good condition when his grandmother rescued him from drowning. His family then took him to the hospital as a precautionary measure, and later installed a fence and a locked gate separating the house and the backyard pool about two days after Leeland’s close call to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
All in all, it was a “birthday to remember” for Lexie Comeau-Jackson and proof that one does not need to be capable of speaking or walking to save someone else’s life, according to Comeau-Drisdelle. The 9-year-old cerebral palsy patient was honored and awarded by the Halifax Regional Police and her local Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for her quick thinking and heroic deeds and is also scheduled to appear this week at Halifax City Hall for further recognition.