BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - A birthday party almost turned tragic this weekend when a four-year-old girl nearly drowned at Frank Brown Park.
Kiara Greene is the mother of four-year-old Davieonna Howard. On Sunday, Davieonna and her family celebrated her fourth birthday, but now her family is just thankful she's spending another day on Earth.
"He saved my child's life and that's all that matters right now. God ordained for him to be there," Greene said. She's referring to Corporal Jeff Haire with the Bay County Sheriff's Office - the man she says helped save her daughter's life.
"We thank Jesus Christ for performing those miracles on that baby girl," Cpl. Haire said.
On Sunday, Davieonna and her mom went to Frank Brown Park for Davieonna's birthday party. Greene says she was setting up the party area while Davieonna and the other children played in the kiddie pool. Davieonna was wearing her swimmies.
However, moments after the family arrived Davieonna managed to wander from the kid area and into the adult pool area. Shortly afterward, a bystander pulled her lifeless body from the water.
"I ran over to him. He said that she was at the bottom of the pool. We put her on the concrete," Cpl. Haire explained, "She had foam on her mouth and nose area. No pulse, wasn't breathing."
Cpl. Haire started performing CPR and noticed a faint pulse. "We did another round of chest compressions and she began breathing and had a pulse," Cpl. Haire said.
"Just talking to you, I'm shaking because you know I could be planning a funeral right now for my baby and I'm not because of him," Greene said.
Davieonna was taken to the hospital and later received a special visit from Cpl. Haire. Now the two have formed what may be a life-long friendship. "I'm going over to visit her tonight at her house to check on her again," Cpl. Haire said, "We've just built a relationship with her family already."
"'I look at him as being her guardian angel," Greene said.
The lifeguard staff at Frank Brown Park are also credited with helping to save Davieonna's life. Officials at Frank Brown Bark said lifeguard student Brey Johnson and veteran lifeguard Kaitlynn Norris were helpful in the emergency procedures.