Dispatches from a Reporter's Notebook

Miracle Baby

Posted September 12, 2007

As parents, we've all been there. We know that sick feeling we get in the pit of our stomachs when we realize our child is missing.

Most of the time, she is just around the corner in Target, hiding behind a tree in the back yard, or engrossed in a coloring book out of sight in the playroom.

But on Sunday, when it happened to Denise Rentz, her gut told her that her 21-month-old daughter, Bridget, was not safe.

One moment, she saw her beautiful, fair-haired toddler digging in the dirt in the back yard under the watchful eye of her siblings. The next minute, when Rentz checked, she was not there.

She immediately sent her children and her friends' children fanning out in different directions. Bridget's 15-year-old sister, Alyssa, immediately raced to the neighbor's pool. Her mother followed.

What happened next is incomprehensible.

Alyssa and her 13-year-old brother found their sister floating facedown in the pool. They both jumped in, pulled her to safety and started CPR– a skill Alyssa learned from her eighth-grade physical education teacher.

Denise and her husband, Daniel, were not far behind. They were in shock. Prompted by Alyssa, they jumped in to help with CPR.

Before Daniel took over giving his baby chest compressions, he said a quick blessing. Bridget was blue, unresponsive – in his mind, already gone. He thought she might have been in the water too long, that she had no chance for survival.

The Rentzs are devout Mormons, and faced with a tragedy beyond measure, prayer was their sanctuary. Daniel recalled the other children in the family (they have six) and their friends kneeling on the lawn, also praying for Bridget.

Bridget was rushed to a local hospital, where she stayed less than 24 hours. Denise and Daniel said doctors were amazed by her speedy recovery.

On Tuesday, Bridget playfully danced around her living room, waving at our camera, flashing us Cheshire cat grins as she ducked into her hiding place behind the couch.

She looked like a healthy child without a care in the world.

Her parents credit Alyssa, Alyssa's physical education teacher and God for Bridget, who they have now dubbed "the miracle baby."

Watching her wispy blond hair cascade over her big brown eyes as she spun like a ballerina around the living room, it was very hard to disagree.

8 Comments

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  • Groovy Sep 13, 2007

    Look at that face, what an angel. Thank God for the quick responses.

  • Lakeisha Sep 13, 2007

    A TRUE MIRACLE BABY, A VERY HAPPY ENDING!! GLAD THIS LITTLE ANGLE IS UNHARMED AND SAFE AFTER ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED TO HER. HIGH FIVE TO HER FAMILY FOR THE QUICK RESPONSE TIME!! KEEP ALL THE ANGELS AROUND PROTECTING HER!!!

  • momx2 Sep 13, 2007

    Great job to the sister and her teacher. I have been in rescue for 14 years now. I teach first aid and CPR and it is always a blessing to hear how God has used someone to save someone else. Don't let that little angle out of your sight. You should discuss putting a child proof locked gate around the neighboors pool. If they don't want to do this then you might consider a fence around your childrens play area. May God bless you and keep you all safe. You might be interested in looking into having your children talk to someone in debreifing about doing CPR on their sister and finding her face down in the pool. You local EMS or hospital or school can recommend someone or even you church leader.

  • Bing Used Sep 13, 2007

    I would say Alyssa and the 13 yo brother were the miracles and the baby and family were blessed.

  • teach4ever Sep 12, 2007

    Yea! Thank God this beautiful child survived. And kudos to her sister who was PAYING ATTENTION IN CLASS when her teacher was teaching them how to perform CPR! Score one for the teaching profession!

  • my3kidz Sep 12, 2007

    I'm glad this had a happy ending. Kudos to Alyssa's teacher who taught her CPR so well. All schools should teach that and all pools should have fences and alarms.

  • littlegramma Sep 12, 2007

    That's the power of Priesthood blessings! So glad the little girl is ok and hope the sibings recover from the trauma well. I know too well how tough it is to do a "save", though not one of my own, a child. It pays to live true to your religious beliefs!

  • pwilliamson53 Sep 12, 2007

    This is truely a blessing. Our children learn more than we know in school. Thanks goes to the teacher and well as the young child that learned something very valueable.

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WRAL's Amanda Lamb offers a behind-the-scenes look at what TV news reporters do, the people they meet and how their jobs affect them.