Toddler Suffers Serious Brain Damage After Near Drowning

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For the last two weeks, a 22-month-old Indiana toddler, Maddex Elicio, or Maddie as his family calls him, has been in a hospital gown with tubes in his nose and sensors on his head.

They gave us a scale of one to 10, saying one was best and 10 was brain dead and they put him about a seven or eight,” said his Mother, Christeen Elicio.

On Aug. 13, Maddie slipped out of the back door of his home and into his family’s above ground pool. It was unknown to his Mother – until his sister ran inside.

“She told us that Maddex got into the pool. I just ran out into the yard and ran up to the pool and I couldn’t see him at first and I looked around but half of it, the sun was shining on it and I couldn’t see in the water. I climbed up the ladder a couple steps and I saw him across the pool and at that moment, I jumped down and I started to run around and my husband, his dad ran out and he got to him before I did,” Christeen said.

Maddie’s father started CPR when the mom remembered seeing two police officers next door.

The mother of the child, I believe, came out and was hysterical,” said Seymour Police Officer Seth Sage.

Finally, we got out of her that she needed an ambulance and when we went around the corner of the privacy fence, we saw the baby laying on the ground, he was blue and not breathing.”

The officers put Maddie in their squad car and then rushed him to the hospital.

“Maddie would not be here if they did not do what they did,” said Chisteen Elicio.

Maddie now has a long road ahead.

We’re not really sure what the outcome’s going to be he has a lot of brain damage now.”

Maddie’s family is however, doing all they can to get him out of his hospital gown.

One of the ways they would like to do that is by using hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The family has created a fundraising page to help raise money for the therapy

Here are a few water safety tips which we as parents can do to prevent such a tragic occurrence and ensure that your time spent at the pool is a happy and safe time for everyone.


Never leave a child alone in or around water – be it the pool, ocean or even in the bath! Be watchful and keep an observant eye on the children around water, keep pool gates locked or cover your pool with a certified pool net. A basic course in first aid and CPR will also make a difference in the outcome of an incident should the skills be applied timeously.


Having multiple layers of safety around pool and spa areas or any other open bodies of water (such as a safety net, a closed fence and a surface alarm) can prevent tragic accidents.

Prevention is better than cure!

Make sure that these barriers are well maintained and properly fitted at all times. Also, make sure that when your kids are swimming over at a neighbor or family member’s home that these are in place.

Swimming lessons

My daughter has started swimming lessons and the first lessons she learned was how to climb out of the pool and how to float on her back.

Children should actually learn to swim as soon as possible. It’s important for them to be trained in survival skills such as floating and treading water and even if they are able to do so, constant supervision is still always necessary.


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