Mother saves 18-month-old daughter from drowning in family's pool

Elasha Laster performed CPR on toddler for 5 minutes


LAUDERHILL, Fla. – A mother of two will be having a great Mother's Day weekend, because her daughter is alive and doing just fine after a near-drowning incident earlier this week.

Elasha Laster says she took a CPR course almost 10 years ago, and that's how she knew how to save her daughter's life.

On Sunday, Laster says she found her daughter floating face down in the family swimming pool.

"I was panicking and freaking out on the inside," says Laster. "I don't even think I was breathing myself. I was freaking out."

The incident happened at her Lauderhill home. All it took, she says, was five minutes.

Laster says she put the 18-month-old in her playpen to just go to the bathroom. When she came out, her daughter Kennedy was gone.

"I came outside and I just saw her floating, just floating in the water face-down unconscious, so I'm thinking in my head, 'Oh my God my baby's dead.'  That's what it looked like" she says.

Laster just recently moved to South Florida. She says she was a trained life guard, but never had to use her CPR training. Still, she remembered what to do nearly a decade later.

"After the first set she threw up back in my mouth so I was like, that's a good sign," says Laster.

Once rescue arrived to take Kennedy to the hospital, relatives knew she would be OK.

Now back home, mom is taking extra precautions, adding door alarms and soon a pool fence. She says she hopes this services as a life-saving lesson to other parents.

Given several recent child drownings in South Florida, Laster says parents should at least research rescue techniques online, if not take a class.

Meanwhile, the family says they're now getting ready for a much-needed vacation.

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