Within seconds, the green inner tube meant to hold 3-year-old Kali Dallis above water flipped on its side, plunging the girl headfirst into the pool.
Kali jumped into the shallow end of her apartment complex’s pool with the small pool float around her waist. When the float tipped, she became trapped with her feet in the air. Then her body slipped out of the tube, and she went under.
Surveillance footage from The Savoy apartments on May 15 shows Kali’s 10-year-old sister, Jayla Dallis, jump into action, Channel 2 Action News reported. She had just gotten out of the pool when she turned around and saw her sister’s body underwater.
Jayla ran, leaped into the pool and dragged her sister out.
“She was, like, heavy, so I had to pull her by her hair, then I grabbed her by her waist and pulled her up,” Jayla Dallis told Channel 2.
After about two weeks in the hospital, Kali is expected to be released from the hospital on Friday. Her mother, Daneshia Dallis, credits her older daughter and the quick response of a Chamblee police officer for saving Kali’s life.
Sgt. Ed Lyons, a veteran officer and the father of a 6-year-old girl, was about two miles away at the Chamblee Police Department when he got the call that a little girl had drowned. Footage from his body camera, obtained by Channel 2, shows the officer race toward the complex and to the pool, where Kali’s aunt and the apartment manager were attempting to perform CPR.
“I saw my little girl lying there, same little bathing suit she wears, same kind of hair pulled up in a bun up top,” Lyons told the news station. “You know, you’ve got to kind of push past that and do what you’re trained to do.”
By the time an ambulance arrived, the 3-year-old was spitting up water and Lyons was able to find a pulse, but she was still unconscious.
Doctors reportedly anticipate Kali will make a full recovery. Her mother calls it a miracle.
“Don’t take your eyes off of them,” Daneshia Dallis warned. “All the floats are not safe. Be careful. Watch your kids.”