A drowning Texas woman whose 5-year-old daughter saved her life said she wouldn’t be alive without the little girl’s heroic actions.
Tracy Anderwald was unconscious in the middle of her backyard pool after suffering a seizure when her daughter dove into the water and managed to pull her to safety last Friday, she said. Little Allison Anderwald then made sure her mom’s head was above water before running inside the house for help.
“I don’t want to think about what would have happened if she wasn’t there. I don’t think I would be here,” Tracy Anderwald, 34, told TIME on Wednesday. “If she hadn’t have been there, I would have been at the bottom of the pool. My kids would have found me at the bottom of the pool.”
The Portland mother of four, whose memory of the day is blurry, said she was shocked when she watched home surveillance video of the rescue. “She saw that I was in trouble. She saw that I was not OK in the water, and she helped me,” she said. “It’s amazing that she helped me.”
Tracy Anderwald was underwater for nearly 5 minutes, her family said. She was released from the hospital Tuesday, and doctors told them it’s a miracle she survived without any serious injuries. “It really captured how heroic that little girl is,” Allison’s aunt, Tedra Hunt, told TIME. “Everything that happened is a blessing. My sister is alive. Every second mattered. Every second counted.”
Meanwhile, Allison has yet to grasp the magnitude of what she did, her mom said. “I think that she will truly understand it when she gets older,” Tracy Anderwald said. “She knows what she did was right and good, but I don’t think she understands the significance of it.”