Girl who fell in icy pond upgraded from critical to serious condition

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The condition of a 6-year-old girl who fell into a Rock Island pond has been upgraded from critical to serious at Seattle Children’s Hospital as she continues her recovery from more than 15 minutes in the icy pond last Thursday.

Shawn Ballard of Ballard ambulance said Tuesday that the girl, who has not yet been identified, showed good improvement Monday.

“I spoke with the mom last night over at Children’s and in general she said she had a much better day yesterday than the day before, Ballard said. “It sounds like the day before was pretty rough. But yesterday she rested well, her lungs were clearing up a little bit and they moved her condition down from critical to serious.”

The recovery process from such a trauma relies on slow, steady progress, Ballard said.

Details are expected to be released soon on a fund-raising effort to help the girl and her family with the expenses associated with the accident.

The girl walked out onto an ice-covered portion of the pond about 11:15 Thursday morning, then fell into the water. She apparently pushed herself further out into the water in her struggles. A pocket of air in the hood of her jacket kept her near the surface, rescue officials said.

Douglas County Fire District 2 crews quickly arrived on the scene and firefighter Billy Turner went into the water and swam out to the girl while fellow firefighter Jacob Toevs maintained a “tag line.”

Using the line, firefighters were able to quickly pull Turner and the girl to the edge of the ice.

She was taken by Ballard Ambulance to Central Washington, then taken by air ambulance to Seattle.