DAYTON, Ohio(WDTN)- The grandfather of the six-year-old boy pulled from a Dayton pool said his grandson is at Dayton Children’s Hospital with brain damage.
Willie Hamilton said his grandson, Nigel, was a loving boy on his school’s honor roll. He’d spent the summer taking karate classes and swim lessons. His sixth swim lesson was at Lohrey Recreation Center Thursday evening.
“It was at the end of the swimming lesson and one of the lifeguards asked me if I had seen Nigel. Did he go to the bathroom?’,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he looked in the restroom and in the lobby but could not find Nigel. He said that is when the lifeguards cleared the pool. After everyone was out, Hamilton said lifeguards still saw no sign of his grandson.
“I’m panicking at that time. So I’m running around. I went outside. I ran around looking, trying to find him thinking someone had kidnaped him,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he spent the next 10 to 15 minutes looking for his grandson anywhere he could think of. When he returned to the pool, he says lifeguards had pulled Nigel out of the pool and were conducting CPR. Nigel had been at the bottom of the pool the whole time.
Nigel was taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital where Hamilton said he was pronounced dead. His pulse eventually came back but his future is now uncertain.
“Right now, Nigel is brain dead. He’s breathing through a tube at Children’s Hospital,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said he and Nigel have a special bond. “We did things together. We go to the park together. We go swimming,” Hamilton said.
Hamilton said Nigel was always fearful of the water. He said it’s why the family is taking the incident especially hard. Nigel’s mother has been at her son’s side since this all happened Thursday evening.
“Everybody always told him, ‘Don’t worry. You know, it’ll be alright. The lifeguards are there’,” Hamilton said.
The loving grandfather says for now, the family is taking things day-by-day.
“We’re just hoping, waiting and praying that he just wakes up,” Hamilton said.