A family was just seconds away from tragedy—but the crisis was averted, thanks to the quick thinking of a little girl who proves that anyone can be a hero.
One afternoon in May, Kelly Jackson, from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, was at home with two of her children: 18-month-old son Leeland and her daughter Lexie, who has cerebral palsy.
Lexie can’t talk and relies on a wheelchair to get around.
It was Lexie’s ninth birthday, and her mother was busy making preparations for her party. When Leeland woke up from his nap, Jackson’s mother Nancy Comeau-Drisdelle brought him downstairs to keep an eye on him.
But while Jackson was upstairs getting changed, she heard an alarming sound from downstairs, one that she had never heard before:
She heard Lexie screaming.
“All of the sudden, I’m upstairs and I hear her screaming like bloody murder,” Jackson told CTV Atlantic. “We’ve never heard her scream like that.”
Downstairs, Comeau-Drisdelle had turned her back on the kids for just a moment—but when she heard the scream, she turned around and realized what was happening.
“She’s yelling and she’s pointing at the door, and I realize Leeland’s not with her,” Comeau-Drisdelle said.
Leeland had gotten outside—and was heading towards the pool.
Lexie’s shriek helped notify the adults what was happening—and likely saved her brother’s life.
The grandmother rushed outside, just in time to save the toddler from drowning.
“I took off outside and I’m not seeing him,” Comeau-Drisdelle said. “I ran, and he’s right by the edge [of the pool] and I took him out.”
Leeland coughed up some water and was brought to the hospital as a precaution, but was fine—all thanks to Lexie.
“I hugged her, I cried and I still thank her every day,” Jackson said. “Because honestly, in that matter, two seconds makes a huge difference.”
Her family members weren’t the only ones praising Lexie as a hero.
She received many honors and recognitions for her lifesaving actions from Halifax Regional Police, her local government representative, and Halifax City Hall.
— Office of the Mayor (@MikeSavageHFX) July 4, 2018
Her grandmother says it proves that your limitations don’t hold you back from being a hero.
“You don’t need to be able to walk and talk,” Comeau-Drisdelle said. “You can still make yourself heard and you can still help.
“And yes, she did save his life.”