After Toddler Falls Into Septic Tank, a Frantic Rescue

Mom and big sister of Thorin Hess team up to rescue and revive him
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2018 10:27 AM CDT
Big Sister Revives Brother After Fall Into Septic Tank
Amazing job, Madi.   (Getty Images/Kwangmoozaa)

A toddler in Washington state who fell into a septic tank is alive because of his big sister. The AP reports the incident took place in the Tacoma suburb of Edgewood on Wednesday morning, when the boy, identified by KIRO-7 as 2-year-old Thorin Hess, plunged into the tank after stepping on a loose access cover on his grandparents' property. Thorin's mother, Marcia Hess, immediately jumped down after him. "I could see him dying, so I just called out to God … 'Get me down there, get me to my son!'" she tells WBAL. And she did get to the unconscious boy, but she got stuck trying to get out of the hole—which is when she managed to hand the not-breathing toddler up to his 12-year-old sister, Madi, and implored, "Please save him!" Madi called 911, and dispatchers walked her through the CPR process.

Soon after Madi started chest compressions on Thorin, he began gurgling, and he was conscious by the time emergency responders arrived. The toddler was taken to the hospital, where KIRO notes he's being treated for a potential lung infection from possibly breathing in sewage; other than that, he's said to be OK. "They were saying, 'Chief ... 10 years from now, you need to give her a job,'" East Pierce Fire Chief Bud Backer tells the News Tribune, adding that the girl followed all instructions "to a 'T'" and remained in control the entire time. "She … saved her brother's life." Marcia Hess' take on her daughter's actions: "This is an absolute miracle," she tells WBAL. In the meantime, a warning for all from the fire department: "Make sure your septic access points are secure," East Pierce Fire & Rescue tweeted after Thorin's rescue. (More rescue stories.)

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