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Published on June 09, 2014

Bryan Trauma Team Brings Toddler Back to Full Recovery after Near-Drowning

Three year old Ty Hopping sat in the Bryan West Campus lobby on Friday afternoon tucked in his mother’s arms.  It was four short days before, on June 2, Ty was in a near drowning accident that almost took his life.

It happened that Monday, when Ty’s parents, Josh and Paula Hopping of Hartington, SD, were packing up from a long day of swimming to head home. Within a matter of seconds, their worst nightmare became a reality as they turned to find Ty face-down in the pool.

Danielle Malchow, a cardiac ICU nurse at Bryan East Campus, happened to be at the pool that day and quickly began CPR as Ty lay unconscious. “We honestly didn’t know if he was going to make it,” Hopping explained as she watched Malchow perform chest compressions. Malchow continued CPR until the paramedics arrived at the scene.

Quickly upon arriving at The Bryan Trauma Center at Bryan West Campus, Dr. Reginald Burton, director of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care, began therapeutic hypothermia, a unique procedure that brings the body’s temperature down by more than 10 degrees to prevent brain damage.

Ty was surrounded by ice packs and wearing a cooling cap to prevent fevers. Ty’s parents admitted it was hard to see him in this situation, but it was far greater than the alternative that clouded their minds as they first pulled Ty from the pool to find him unconscious, his skin and lips purple.

Within a few days it was clear to Ty’s parents that he on a path to full recovery as physical therapists and occupational therapists confirmed that he showed no signs of brain deficits from the accident.

 “As caretakers it pulls at our heart strings too. We are always searching for new ways to save brain cells and change the outcome," said Dr. Burton. “I am proud of our team.”

Anxious to get back to a normal life, Ty’s mom says they are forever grateful for Malchow and the Bryan Trauma Team that saved her son.

“I honestly didn't think he’d recover like this,” said his dad. “It’s a miracle.”

Ty was released from Bryan West Campus and returned home on June 7.

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