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Off-duty cop’s CPR saves 2-year-old girl from drowning in north Forsyth pool
Mike Nelson

Though he may not have been wearing his badge and uniform, Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office deputy Mike Nelson was called to action Sunday after a toddler nearly drowned in a north Forsyth subdivision pool.

Nelson said he sitting by his neighborhood’s pool with friends on June 18 around 4:30 p.m. when a 2-year-old girl got into the pool, unobserved.

“We were hanging out at the pool with some friends and the mom was changing the child’s diaper,” Nelson said. “The dad was in pool with the other two kids and when the mom went to throw away the girl’s diaper, she ran over and jumped into the pool.

“She’d been learning to jump in pool with her swimmies on and jumped in pool, but without her [swim] wings. The mom turned around and couldn’t find her and started screaming for help.”

Nelson said the girl’s father began looking around and found the child in the water, where she had turned blue and was not breathing.

“She had no pulse, so I put her on pool deck and started performing CPR while another neighbor called 911,” he said.

He said she began breathing again after about two minutes of CPR.

The girl was taken to Scottish Rite Hospital, a Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta location, where she was released Monday night.

Nelson said she has returned to full health and suffered no broken bones or ribs from the incident.

He said the choice to help was instinctual.

“You learn when you go into law enforcement that you’re never off duty,” he said. “When things happen, you don’t really think – you just act. You rely on the training you’ve received, and I didn’t think about what I had to do.

“I just knew what I needed to do, and I did what I had to do.”

Nelson, who has been with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office for 11 years, has spent the last 20 in law enforcement.

“What I’ve learned is parents should watch their kids, but [kids] are kids,” he said. “You need to remember to not blame yourself for a child being a child, but you should learn CPR and learn what to do in case of an incident like this.”