Keri Mount and her husband Jeff are overwhelmed with thankfulness this week after their son Nathan was “brought back to life” after drowning in a Kamloops pool on Sept. 5.
“It’s a miracle,” Keri Mount said. “There are varying reports and it’s still under investigation, but he possibly could have been under the water for up to 10 minutes.”
Nathan, a recent Chatelech grad, left Halfmoon Bay for Thompson River University a few days before the swimming accident.
“He had just left and I was going through empty nest big time,” Mount said, noting she was worried about how her son would cope on campus.
She said that on Sept. 5 Nathan decided to go swimming at the Canada Games Aquatic Centre and that there were “probably 150 people there” that day.
At some point Nathan ended up on the bottom of the pool, obscured by people and floating mats, Mount said, adding it’s possible someone might have “kicked him in the chest and stopped his heart. It doesn’t take much.”
Once Nathan was seen he was pulled from the water by lifeguards who worked to resuscitate the 18-year-old for 11 minutes, Mount said, adding, “they shocked him three times.”
Once rescuers felt a pulse the teen was rushed to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops and his parents were called.
“We got the call at 9:15 p.m. and there were no more ferries leaving so we had to stay here and wait to get on the 6:20 a.m. ferry the next day,” Mount said.
Once in the Lower Mainland the Mounts sped to the Kamloops hospital, uncertain what condition their son would be in.
“But he made an amazing recovery and so far there’s no brain damage,” Mount said. “He is the miracle boy who lived.”
He was later transferred to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver to begin his recovery.
The Mounts want to thank Coasters and residents of Kamloops who were praying for their son.
“When people asked us what they could do we told them we needed a miracle and to pray and they did. A whole bunch of people did and there was a massive outpouring of love and support,” Mount said.
She also thanked St. Paul’s Hospital staff for their “excellent care. They spared no expense and they were amazing.”
Nathan will likely need four to six months to recover fully from the accident, but he is steadily improving.
The Mounts plan to help improve safety at the Kamloops pool in the future.
“We’re going to make sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else through coming up with some recommendations,” Mount said, adding the family doesn’t want to press any charges. “We’re just so thankful that he’s OK and the outpouring of support from the Kamloops community and the Coast has made us feel more connected.
“It’s like we can see the real beauty in life now, and it will never be the same. It’s far more precious.”