The terror Danielle Bohm experienced is still etched in her mind.
On Aug. 19, 2017, her then 3-year-old son Chase fell into a pool at their friends’ house while trying to reach for a toy water gun.
Everyone was finished swimming and Bohm had gone inside to help the host prepare food. Bohm’s husband, Matt, was talking to an adult outside but wasn’t facing the pool. He turned around to see where Chase was and didn’t see him.
“He started to walk down toward the pool and saw our son floating face down in the pool,” Bohm said. “He jumped in and laid him on edge of the pool and he was blue and not breathing. He started to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on our son. Luckily for us, my husband is a physician and knows CPR. He finally coughed up water and had a pulse. No one else there knew CPR. So, if he didn’t know, we wouldn’t have our son.”
Bohm started Chase’s Challenge to raise awareness about swimming safety and how to prevent drownings.
“Everyone should know CPR, including me, so I took it,” she said.
Bohm said it took more than seven minutes for paramedics to respond, which is normal for Carmel.
“So, if he didn’t get CPR, you really decrease your opportunity for survival, not to mention brain problems,” Bohm said. “He took in so much water that the lungs were damaged. He couldn’t communicate afterwards. We waited overnight and prayed. The next morning, he woke up and asked where his brother (Mason) was.”
Bohm said Chase, now 4, had speech issues for a few weeks, but seems to have progressed fine.
The family held an event in June at the Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis and 50 people had their CPR training. People ages 8 and older can learn CPR. Bohm plans more events in the future, including a fundraiser.
“My long-term goal is to bring Chase’s Challenge to areas where people don’t have the money to take a CPR class,” she said.
For more, visit chaseschallenge.org.