Seattle toddler speaks first words after nearly drowning


A 2-year-old Seattle girl whose fall into a neighborhood pond nearly killed her is now speaking her first words.

Catalina Ackers went missing Saturday morning and was found facedown in a retention pond near her family’s home, according to the Seattle Police Department. Catalina is developmentally delayed and barely spoke at all before the accident.

Officer Tyler Keating performed CPR to restore her breathing and an ambulance rushed her to the hospital. And Catalina returned home Monday full of words, her mom Natalie Holiday said.

Little Catalina Ackers, 2, came home from the hospital to her adoring parents Monday.KOMO

Little Catalina Ackers, 2, came home from the hospital to her adoring parents Monday.

“The first thing she said when she came out of sedation was ‘Mommy’ the very first time,” Holiday told KOMO-TV. “She is speaking clear language, words, so something clicked. Her face is the same, but, as her mother, she is a different child.”

Her family told the TV station Catalina sneaked away as her parents were moving their belongings from one house to another in the West Seattle area. Her 12-year-old brother discovered her in the pond as family and friends searched the neighborhood.

Seattle police said Catalina fell into a retention pool and was not breathing until an officer performed CPR on her.KOMO

Seattle police said Catalina fell into a retention pool and was not breathing until an officer performed CPR on her.

The family plans to meet later this week with Keating and a neighbor who also helped rescue her to thank them for their role in saving Catalina’s life. She was released from the hospital a day ahead of schedule.

“Her big brown doe eyes are just sparkling,” Holiday said. “It’s just an amazing feeling to have your daughter say, ‘Mommy.’”

Follow on Twitter @tobysalkc

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