It was the perfect New Year’s Eve for Ruslan and Anastasia Odonec, who had invited all of their family and friends over to their new house for a party to ring in 2014.
There were people in every room, infectious laughter of children filled the house. Warm smiles, stories and holiday cheer radiated from within.
Deep into the party, Ruslan realized he hadn’t seen or heard from his kids—5-year-old son, Radomir, and 3-year-old daughter, Alesya—for some time. He started searching different rooms of the house, and became frantic with every empty find.
When he finally checked the basement, Ruslan was horrified by what he found: Alesya, lifeless at the bottom of the family’s pool.
He quickly retrieved the toddler’s body from the water and began performing CPR, while the rest of the family and guests found their way to his panicked cries. Upon seeing her baby’s condition, Anastasia passed out, leaving the grandparents to call for emergency crews.
What started out as a night to remember was quickly turning into a nightmare they may never wake up from.
Ruslan worked to resuscitate his daughter, but to no avail.
When paramedics arrived 10 minutes later, they took over for Ruslan in trying to save Alesya’s life. It wasn’t long after, though, that the bright-eyed, joyful little girl was pronounced dead.
The father of two was not going to have it. His daughter was not going to die, not while he still had a say in it. Ruslan continued his efforts to try to resuscitate her—performing CPR and pressing hard on her chest. The medics on scene suggested that he “stop torturing the dead body,” but Ruslan just kept on pumping.
It had been 40 minutes since he’d pulled his baby girl from the swimming pool, and nearly a half-hour since Alesya was declared dead, when Ruslan felt a weak heart beat in the little girl’s chest.
It was literally a miracle. Alesya’s heart was beating.
Emergency responders were in awe as they rushed the little girl to the hospital where she laid in a coma for two weeks.
Although she was alive, doctors prepared Ruslan and Anastasia for the worst. Having been dead for 45 minutes with no oxygen pumping to her brain, there was no telling the extent of brain damage Alesya was in for.
When she woke from the coma, Alesya was unable to see, speak or move. But as you may have suspected, God was not finished drawing up miracles for this little lady.
In the weeks that followed, the toddler made unbelievable strides—slowly beginning to speak again, gaining back her eyesight, and even taking her first steps since the accident.
It took months of work and strategic recovery, but Alesya completely recovered from the trauma of New Year’s Eve.
The family was able to “wake up” from what had started to look like a life-long nightmare.
Ruslan’s relentless efforts and unwillingness to give up on his daughter is a miracle that has been heard around the world.