Dramatic video shows toddler nearly drowning before sister, officer rescue her

DEKALB COUNTY. Ga. — Dramatic surveillance video shows a toddler nearly drowning in an apartment pool before her older sister and a nearby police officer saved her life.

Kali Dallis, 3, was in the pool at her Chamblee apartment complex May 15 when she went underwater.

Video shows the moments her 10-year-old sister, Jayla Dallis, realized she was drowning and raced to get her out of the pool.

Jayla talked to Channel 2's Michael Seiden about the scary moments that could have ended her sister's life.

"She was, like heavy, so I had to pull her by her hair, and then I grabbed her by her waist and pulled her up," she said.

A witness called 911 while Kali's aunt and the apartment operations manager took turns performing CPR.


"I was sitting in the back of the police department in my patrol car, checking reports," said Chamblee police Sgt. Ed Lyons, the proud father of a 6-year-old girl. He told Seiden that he couldn't help but think of his own daughter as he raced to help. His body camera captured the entire scene.

"I saw my little girl laying there. Same kind of little bathing suit she wears. Same little hair pulled up in a little bun up top," he said. "You know, you kind of have to push past that and do what you're trained to do."

Although she was showing signs of life, Kali still remained in critical condition.

When Kalli's mother arrived at Scottish Rite hospital, she found her daughter hooked up to a ventilator. In fact, doctors didn't know if she'd make it out alive.

Now, two weeks after the horrifying incident, Kali is back to being a vivacious toddler. She will be heading home as early as Friday.

While it was a close call for Kali, her doctors anticipate that she'll make a full recovery.

"It's amazing. It's a miracle. Don't take your eyes off of them. All the floats are not safe. Be careful. Watch your kids," Kali's mom, Daneshia Dallis, said.

As for Lyons, the veteran cop is now embracing his new role as a real-life superhero.

With so many drownings over the last few days, it's importan to know what you should do if you see someone in trouble.

First and foremost, always keep an eye on young children. That video shows just how quickly a fun day can turn tragic.

Then, get them out of the water and have someone call 911. You can also try chest compressions even if you don't know CPR.

Once the person starts breathing or coughing, turn them on their side until the ambulance gets there.

Experts say about 200 young children drown in swimming pools each year.

Here's more information on unintentional drownings from the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.