Fishermen save toddler found in Macon County creek - FOX Carolina 21

Fishermen save toddler found in Macon County creek

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It only takes seconds for a child to get into trouble near water.

A Midstate toddler is alive thanks to two fishermen in the right place at the right time.

Two fishermen had just wrapped up a day of fishing along Salt Lick Creek in Macon County when something in the water caught their attention. After a closer look, the men were horrified because a toddler was floating face down in the water.

Dan Hassard was sitting in his car drying off when he saw the child in the stream. His fishing partner, Tom Green, is a park manager at Mammoth Cave.

"She was floating hind-end first, face down in the water and going downstream. I felt for a pulse and didn't feel a pulse," said Hassard. "She felt like she was gone."

The toddler, 18-month-old Nevia Pitcock, had wandered away from her parents' campground site about 100 yards away. Her parents were unaware she had fallen in the water.

"I brought her out of the water and handed her to Tom, and Tom laid her on the ground," said Hassard. "Tom started doing compressions. One of the people camping nearby came over and did mouth-to-mouth.

"It took about four minutes before the baby started reacting and started crying. When she started crying, there was a sense of relief with everybody."

The little girl was flown by helicopter to Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. She was released Sunday. Doctors said she will have no long-term effects.

Salt Lick Creek is a popular fishing and camping spot that Hassard uses frequently. But it will be some time before he fishes there again. He's having problems erasing the image from his mind.

Hassard may have been in the right place at the right time, but he firmly believes it was all part of God's plan.

"God put us here to do something and that's what we did," said Hassard. "None of us were heroes."

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