A man helped rescue his son by performing mouth-to-mouth resuscitation underwater after the boy got sucked to the bottom of a hotel hot tub, authorities said.
Aljuwon Pipkin, 14, was released from the hospital last week, a week after the July 13 incident.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office said he may have been immersed anywhere from five to 15 minutes.
“I get chills now even speaking about it,” father Sharif Pipkin told WKMG-TV on Thursday. “I figured he was at the bottom and they just couldn’t pull him up, and then he didn’t come up. And, I pulled again and he didn’t come up. I began to holler for help from people.”
Officials said a grate at the bottom of the tub became dislodged, creating a strong suction that pulled him underwater.
As others jumped in to pull the New Jersey teen from the bottom of the tub, Pipkin’s father began trying to breathe air into his son’s mouth, authorities said.
Pipkin was transported to Florida Hospital South in critical condition, and doctors initially feared he had suffered brain damage. Sheriff’s officials said it took a couple of days to drain the water from his lungs, but he was expected to make a full recovery.
“I just remember going down to the pool and then waking up in the hospital,” Aljuwon Pipkin told WKMG. “I can appreciate life more. It makes you want to work harder for things.”