Update: 4:45 pm, 11/9/16, Wednesday
CHAMPAIGN — A 7-year old boy, who nearly drowned, is finally out of the hospital.
Amarion Brown was in the ICU for days after falling into a pond Halloween night.
Several people rescued him. Amarion’s mom says he’s back to normal and returned to school Tuesday.
Original: 5:00 pm, 11/2/16, Wednesday
CHAMPAIGN — A 7-year old boy with autism who nearly drowned is still recovering. It happened Monday night in the Cherry Hills neighborhood while trick-or-treating.
His mom, Marissa Abernathy, says she’s grateful to the people who jumped in so quickly to help, but she’s waiting for the day he can go home.
Amarion Brown has been in the ICU since the incident. His mom says he’s stable, but he’s breathing on a ventilator. Doctors are still trying to get fluid out of his lungs.
You can imagine it’s stressful for the family, but his mom says it certainly beats the alternative.
Abernathy says it’s not unusual for him to run off in public.
“I don’t know exactly what triggers him to run, whether it’s, he sees something or sees somebody he thinks he knows.”
She has no idea what inspired him to do it Halloween night. She says her oldest child was holding onto his 2-year old sister’s stroller when he took off between two houses.
She left her daughter with her friend and chased after him.
“Halfway back to the backyard, it got pitch black. I continued to run and then I stopped because I couldn’t even see at first.”
The first thing she did see made her heart sink: the reflection of the moon.
“Then I go, ‘Oh my god! There’s water down there.'”
Amarion was trick-or-treating in his school uniform. Abernathy soon noticed his khaki pants and the top of his head about ten feet from the shore.
“He’s splashing, trying to get himself out. Then he went from splashing to not moving. At this time, I’m yelling, ‘Help me! Please, somebody help me!'”
She says the people who saved him were there in a heartbeat. A 14-year old pulled him out of the water. He started CPR. Then, another man, Bill Brikkoeter took over.
“These people obviously made a decision to act. So, if you add training and action, you get an excellent outcome in this case.”
“He’s been up, he’s been scratching. He’s been looking around.”
All good signs as Amarion is non-verbal. While Abernathy would rather have him home with her and his sisters, she can’t help but feel grateful for the people who followed her cries for help.
“They could have not been there and it could have been a lot worse, or anything like that, so I’m very thankful. I’m kind of at a loss for words.”
Abernathy hopes Amarion will be out of ICU before the weekend is over. Even then, she says he might have to stay at the hospital in a different room for a bit.
Once everything is figured out, she hopes to meet with those who rescued him.
Abernathy is spending all of her waking hours at the hospital and is missing work. A family friend set up a GoFundMe page to help her pay bills for the time being.
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