12-Year-Old With Down Syndrome Saves Sister From Drowning

The Richardson family has had a pool for 16 years. In all that time, mom Tomarra Richardson swears they’ve never had a safety scare. “But in a split minute all that changed,” the Mundy Township, Michigan, mother of three tells Yahoo Parenting, describing how her youngest child sneaked into the pool and began drowning on July 23.

Three-year-old Jac’Lynn “attempted to get in her swim tube in the pool and went through to the bottom,“ Tomarra told ABC 12. And the preschooler — who’d followed her 12-year-old sister Carin back out to the pool after their family had finished playing — couldn’t swim.

STORYMan Saves Drowning Girl ‘Nobody Else Even Noticed’

“Without panic or fear,” Tomarra told the TV station, “[Carin] grabbed her goggles, got in the water, and pulled her sister out of the pool and into the house.” Tomarra immediately helped Jac’Lynn cough up some water as Carin’s elder sister, Krystal Bishop, called 911. Carin “was our hero — she saved her sister’s life.”

STORY2 Olympic Swimmers Who Drowned as Kids Share Their Scary Stories

Jac’Lynn Richardson in her family’s pool. (Photo: Tomarra Richardson)

By Jennifer O’Neill

Read more from Yahoo Parenting:


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Down Syndrome

What I Discovered After I Googled ‘Autistic Professor’

I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Temple Grandin, the author and animal scientist. She’s intense, interesting and has done an unparalleled amount of work to bring an understanding of autism into the mainstream. When a major Hollywood star portrayed her in a biopic, there was little doubt that she’d become the [...]

When a Woman Responded to My Child’s Meltdown by Saying I ‘Baby’ Her

I’m a proud mommy to two amazing daughters, a 13-year-old and a 7-year-old. My 7-year-old was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder at 2 and a half and has extreme difficulties with self-regulation and self-soothing. One day, my daughters and I were at a free clothing organization. My 7-year-old is a “girly girl.” She loves playing [...]

3 Things We Need From Parents as Siblings of Kids With Special Needs

Today my sister, Zoya, and I watched Polly and Evie, our two little sisters with disabilities, while my mom went out for a haircut. Since it’s summer, we do watch our sisters more often, but we don’t really mind. Usually, we pop in a movie, go outside or just have fun playing Barbies together. But [...]

My Advice to Parents After an Autism Diagnosis

Parents occasionally write to tell me their child was just diagnosed with autism, and in searching the Web for insights they found my blog. They often express fear and sometimes sorrow, and they ask if I have any advice. Since this has happened more than a few times, I thought I’d compile some of the [...]