Four-year-old Kailon Jackson remembers what happened. He not only doesn’t want to repeat the accident, he never wants to visit the scene of the event again.
Jackson, the son of Alkia and Maurice Jackson of Eufaula, has been taken off the ventilator he was on for several days but remains at Panama City’s Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, where he has been with family members since June 16 following a near-tragic event at a hotel pool..
On that day, Kailon was about a foot away from his mother. She decided to go get some food for one of her five children when Kailon decided to walk into the water. Not knowing how to swim, the young child went straight to the bottom of the pool. Fortunately, Connor Bunce, a 10-year-old from Smiths Station whose family was vacationing with the Jacksons, saw Kailon and dove down to get him.
Connor told a local television station that he yelled for help when he pulled Kailon up. Kailon was foaming at the mouth. Alkia heard Connor’s plea for help, and immediatly pulled her son out of the water and began administering CPR.
Upon arriving at the hospital, Kailon was placed on a ventilator, something that was removed several days later.
Kailon’s grandmother, Juanita Carter, told the Tribune Monday that he is also off oxygen and has been breathing on his own. He was to begin physical therapy Monday.
“He’s coming through it,” Juanita Carter said. “He’s going to have to learn how to use his hands and walk again.”
The family remains at the hospital. Connor’s family returned to Smiths Station Monday. Connor plays baseball with one of the Jackson children. His father is their coach.
Alkia Jackson said Connor was a hero.
The recovery process will be a slow one. Alkia wishes she could take Kailon’s place.
“He remembers,” Alkia said of Kailon and the event. “He just never wants to come down here again.