Toddler was lifeless for three hours but saved by doctors

toddler saved

The 20-month-old was found in a pool in the backyard of a daycare

On January 24th, Waylon Saunders was found face-down in the backyard swimming pool of his home daycare. He had been in the water for at least five minutes. The toddler was without pulse but after three hours of CPR, Waylon was saved. 


Waylon Saunders was found in the pool of his daycare in Petrolia, Ontario. The toddler had been in the cold water for five minutes or more and according to CBC News, he was cold and lifeless when the firefighters removed him from the water and took him to the hospital. The toddler didn’t have a pulse and by most medical definitions, he was considered dead. But the staff at Charlotte Eleanor Englehart Hospital in Petrolia wasn’t ready to give up on Waylon. Even though the hospital isn’t as well equipped or staffed as the pediatric hospital in London (one-hundred kilometres away), the doctors and nurses worked hard to save Waylon.


The staff took turns performing CPR on the child. Dr. Janice Tijssen, director of pediatric critical care unit at Children’s Hospital, London Health Sciences Centre, told CBC: “They had a cycle of people providing CPR in Petrolia. They had people warming him with many different techniques.” The doctors first had to warm Waylon’s body temperature. When his body reached a temperature of 28 degrees Celsius, the staff had hope of saving him. The 20-month-year-old was then transferred to London. Thijssen told the news channel: “There was a big team helping him then, keeping him comfortable as his organs started to heal. Then allowing him to wake up. He’s exceeded all expectations. We were really trying to keep him alive so we could give him the best chance at good recovery.”


Waylon’s mother is forever grateful for the doctors and nurses who saved her son’s life. She told CBC: “They’re heroes. The other day I told them that they’re God’s soldiers. I will forever love them, they are like a big family to us. They have a piece of my heart for the rest of my life.”

The daycare and it’s operator have been charged with criminal negligence and with infractions because of the lack of protection around the pool.

Read more: Dying baby turtle saved by family in Ireland

Source: CBC News | Image: Unsplash, Kaye Lark