DeKalb County

Toddler rescued from near-drowning by sister, cop goes home from hospital

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A 3-year-old girl who was saved by her sister and a nearby police officer after nearly drowning in an apartment pool headed home from the hospital Friday.

Kali Dallis was on a float in the pool at her Chamblee apartment complex May 15 when she suddenly went underwater.

Earlier this week, Channel 2 Action News first showed you dramatic video of the moments her 10-year-old sister, Jayla Dallis, realized she was drowning and raced to get her out of the pool.

Body camera video also shows a police officer who was nearby rushing to the scene and helping to revive her.

Kali spent two weeks recovering at Scottish Rite Hospital.

Channel 2's Christian Jennings was there as she was released, and talked to Kali's mom about how the family plans to move forward after the scary accident.

Kali was wheeled out of the hospital Friday morning in a red wagon filled with balloons, cards and well-wishes.

Her mother, Daneshia Dallis, told Jennings she hopes that telling her story will save another child's life.

"I'm fortunate to get to take my baby home after two weeks," Dallis said.

She wasn't at the pool that day. Her sister was watching the girls. She watched the dramatic surveillance video of the rescue from Kali's hospital room.

"I cried tears of joy because I get to see this child and where she is now, instead of where she was."

Dallis said she knows Kali would not be alive if it weren't for Jayla, who didn't hesitate a second to jump in the pool and pull her baby sister out of the water. Jayla even started doing CPR, something she had only seen on TV.

"I jumped in the pool, and I had to grab her by her hair, because that's the only think I could reach because she was almost touching the ground," Jayla said. "She was heavy, so I had to pull her by the hair and then I grabbed her waist and pulled her up."

Dallis said she couldn't be prouder of her daughter.

"As a 10-year-old, to think about all of that in a traumatic situation, I'm so proud of her, I don't even know what to do," Dallis said.


Kali's aunt and an apartment manager took turns doing CPR until Chamblee police Sgt. Ed Lyons arrived at the scene. When he got there, Kali had no pulse and was not breathing.

"After about three minutes of CPR, she took a big, gaping breath right in my face and I felt a pulse through her chest," Lyons said.

Dallis is warning other parents to never take their eyes off kids in the pool.

"Just make sure you watch your kids," Dallis said. "Be in the pool with them. If this story saves one other child, we did it."

Dallis said one of the first things she plans to do now that Kali is home is enroll her in swim lessons.

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