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Dog alerts family to son, 2, floating face down in dam

WONDER DOG: The family dog, Leala, attempted to rescue toddler Alexander Kenney from the dam.
WONDER DOG: The family dog, Leala, attempted to rescue toddler Alexander Kenney from the dam. Trevor Veale

DESPERATELY trying to revive his lifeless son Alexander, 2, is an ordeal David Kenney will never forget.

The toddler was found floating face down in a dam on a friend's Nana Glen property on Saturday, September 5.

Amazingly, the Kenney family's nine-year-old staffy Leala had alerted David to the unfolding drama by running up to the house drenched and frantically seeking attention.

"It was what I was wishing not to see, it was a mixture of disbelief, horror and sadness, it was indescribable really, but then everything was a blur," David said.

For a harrowing 27 minutes, David and his friends Jason and Joshua Cluff performed CPR on Alexander, restarting his heart before paramedics arrived.

The ambulance whizzed past Alexander's mum, Lisa Brockbank, as she was returning to the property before she walked into every mother's worst nightmare.

"I didn't think it was my kid, I didn't think it had anything to do with us and then I came to (see) a helicopter in the sky and the whole place just alive with police and ambulances and my son just lying there completely comatose," Lisa said.

> > > EDITORIAL - WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16: THANKS ALL ROUND FROM THE FAMILY

The Westpac Rescue helicopter crew informed Lisa what had happened.

"They pulled me aside and told me this is as bad as it gets, there's not a lot of hope, you should prepare for the worst possible outcome," she said.

Alexander was flown to Brisbane's Lady Cilento Hospital and admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit where he was put in an induced coma, his young life in the balance.

"The doctors said 'be prepared, you may not be taking this boy home and if you do take him home he'll probably have some sort of brain damage'," Lisa said.

"From a parent's point of view, it doesn't get much worse."

Within 48 hours, Alexander defied the odds and made a speedy recovery after being brought out of his induced coma.

Doctors said he was quickly able to breathe on his own, but it was his first words to parents David and Lisa that melted the hearts of everyone in the PICU ward.

"The thing that I think got everyone was that he wanted kisses, that was the first thing he wanted - he wanted kisses off us," David said.

"It was quite miraculous that he came back so soon and so clear and fine and unchanged."

Trevor Veale

Lisa said the doctors were astounded by Alexander's "miracle outcome" and concluded it was due to the quick actions of David, Josh and Jason administering CPR that ensured little Alexander had oxygen flowing to his brain.

"We had them in tears, they said 'this just doesn't happen'," Lisa said.

"The doctors put it down to CPR being administered correctly when he (Alexander) was pulled from the water."

David said the incident may have ended with fatal consequences had it not been for his two fast-acting mates and Leala's canine instinct.

"Without obviously the dog and my two mates, he would be…," the emotional father reflected.

"Everything that went along in its little series, what happened was just flawless with maybe a little bit of luck chucked in."

After returning home to Glenreagh last Thursday, David said Alexander was in good spirits and "back to being a ratbag".

"You don't want to rouse on him because he's had a pretty rough time but you're blessed to have him doing these little ratbag things, being a little monkey and getting into trouble," he said.

"But you know, he's cheated death, but he can't get away with murder, you gotta do what you've got to do."

Topics:  editors picks lady cilento childrens hospital nana glen staffy westpac rescue helicopter service



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