Wendy Estrada remembers the terrifying moment she saw her 21-month-old daughter motionless in a relative's backyard pool.
Family members were unaware Maddie followed her 5-year-old brother when he went outside around 6 p.m. Aug. 25 to get a ball at the home in Carson.
“I went looking for her and found her in the pool upside-down and unresponsive,” said Estrada. “So, of course I started screaming.”
A minute after the 911 call, four Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies who were nearby arrived at the home. Like a team of superheroes, they calmly worked together in a dramatic scene captured on a doorbell camera.
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The video shows deputies gently placing little Maddie’s motionless body on a patch of grass in front of the home. She was not breathing and unresponsive, so deputies took life-saving measures and tried to clear water from her lungs with thrusts to her back.
“There you go, come on. There you go, there you go,” one deputy can be heard, encouraging and comforting the child.
At about the 25-second mark in the video below, Maddie’s first sounds of life can be heard.
First, a faint breath. Then, a reassuring cry.
Maddie's mother teared up with emotion as she expressed gratitude.
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“They were amazing,” Estrada said. “I’m just very grateful.”
Maddie was hospitalized for four days. She is back home and expected to make a full recovery.
“Their training kicked in, their care kicked in, their empathy kicked in,” said Capt. Damon Jones, of the LASD’s Carson Station. “Their human side kicked in, and they took action as if that little child was their own child.”
The deputies reunited with Maddie and her family after she was released from the hospital.