Teen saves drowning toddler during spring break trip to Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. - The best way to celebrate spring break is by being a hero.
A teenager visiting Orlando, Fla., rescued a toddler from drowning at a hotel pool. The Henslee family said it happened while they were vacationing at the Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Lake Buena Vista last month.
Kaydence Henslee, a 13-year-old from Mayhill, N.M., was spending time at the pool with her sisters when she noticed a toddler floating face down in the deep end. She said that while the sight scared her, she intuitively dove into the water and pulled the child out.
"I just put my arms under her and just carried her out," said Kaydence Henslee of New Mexico.
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"When I went out of the pool I called for help," Kaydence told FOX 35 News. "Someone gave her CPR and then we called 911."
The child was eventually identified as a three-year-old girl from Missouri, named Haven. Mom Ashley Williams said she had just stepped away from the pool for a few minutes. She said there was a miscommunication about which family member was keeping an eye on the little girl and that the near-drowning felt like it happened in an instant.
"I was like, ‘That’s my baby!’ I pushed through the crowd, I just was screaming and crying," Williams said.
Haven was rushed to the hospital but is okay.
Williams said when they got back to the hotel, she learned a teenager was the one who rescued her daughter, and fortunately, a bystander performed CPR on the child.
"I’m just so thankful for Kaydence…for her quick thinking," Williams said.
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The two families are now bonded.
"I immediately called her dad. I was thanking him. I thanked Kaydence. If it wasn’t for her – my baby wouldn’t be celebrating her 4th birthday today," Williams explained.
"It seems like we’ve got some lifelong friends perhaps – even though were separated by a few states. We’re really grateful," Kaydence’s dad, Matt Henslee, said.
According to Williams, doctors told her that if her daughter hadn’t been pulled out of the water when she had been, the situation could have ended in tragedy. A close call avoided, thanks to the humble teen.
"I don’t think that I’m a hero, because it was just the right thing to do that anybody could have done," Kaydence said.
Kaydence and her sisters were able to wish Haven a happy birthday Thursday virtually.
Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.