Canadian girl, 9, with cerebral palsy saves baby brother from drowning

A toddler was saved from drowning in a backyard pool when his sister, who has cerebral palsy, alerted adults.

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A toddler was saved from drowning in a backyard pool when his sister, who has cerebral palsy, alerted adults.

A 9-year-old girl from Canada with cerebral palsy could not physically save her brother from drowning in the backyard pool, but Lexie Comeau-Drisdelle's verbal actions to alert her family helped prevent a family tragedy, CTV News reported.

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“You don’t need to be able to walk and talk,” Lexie’s grandmother, Nancy Comeau-Drisdelle, told CTV Atlantic. “You can still make yourself heard and you can still help. And yes, she did save his life.”

On May 5, Lexie was watching her mother and grandmother prepare for her ninth birthday party at the family home in Halifax, Nova Scotia, while her 18-month-old brother, Leeland, was asleep.

After the boy woke up, the children's mother, Kelly Jackson, went upstairs to get changed, CTV News reported.

“Mum brought him downstairs for me,” Jackson, a mother of three, told the television station. “We didn’t communicate about, ‘Oh the door isn’t locked.’”

Comeau-Drisdelle turned around for a few seconds, giving Leeland the chance to slip out the back door and head into the backyard pool. Lexie, seeing what was happening, began to scream.

"I was upstairs changing for the party, her dad was picking up her older brother, and my mom was in the kitchen, when suddenly I just heard Lexie screaming. I panicked and immediately thought 'Oh no, she must have fallen off her chair,' " Jackson told CNN.

"She's yelling and she's pointing at the door, and I realize Leeland's not with her," Comeau-Drisdelle told CTV News.

Comeau-Drisdelle quickly rushed into the backyard and fished Leeland out of the pool. Although the boy coughed up some water, he was OK. The family took him to a hospital as a precaution, CTV News reported.

The family installed a fence and a locked gate between their house and pool within two days, CTV News said.

Lexie was given awards from the Halifax Regional Police and her local Modern Language Association. She was honored at Halifax City Hall on Wednesday.

"Heroes come in all sizes," Halifax Mayor Mike Savage tweeted.

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