4-Year-Old Fighting for Her Life After Horrifying Pool Injury

pool injury kids
Nicola Floyd/Facebook

When you go on a family vacation, you expect to spend quality time with your kids, have some fun in the sun, and lounge away the days at the hotel pool. What you don't expect is a heartbreaking and completely unpredictable accident that leaves your child fighting for her life. Sadly, that's exactly what one British mom is coping with after her 4-year-old daughter was nearly disemboweled by a hot tub filter pump at a luxury hotel.

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Nicola Floyd and her daughter, Isabella, were staying at the Admiral Hotel near the Black Sea in Bulgaria when a relaxing jaunt in the jacuzzi suddenly turned into a nightmare. Floyd tells the Sun she was sitting beside her 4-year-old and watching her play when the little girl started screaming. Somehow, the girl's bottom had gotten stuck on the filter pump, which didn't have a lid.

"She was shouting 'my tummy, my tummy,'" the mom recalled to the Sun. "I tried to pull her up and break the vacuum, but it was too strong. I tried to break the vacuum with my fingers."

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Isabella was finally freed from the pump after a lifeguard shut off the system. The little girl was then rushed to the emergency room, where she had two operations to remove parts of her damaged intestines. Sadly, she's now fighting for her life in a medically induced coma.

If you're a parent, chances are you take precautions to prevent drowning or to make sure your kids' hair doesn't get caught in a pool filter. But, most parents don't realize the hidden danger posed by uncovered hot tub and pool drains.

In 2008, the US actually passed a national law that required all pool drains to have dome-shaped covers to prevent entrapment. The law was the result of 11 child deaths caused by uncovered drains between 1999 and 2007, including the tragic and widely publicized death of 6-year-old Abigail Taylor, who slipped in a kiddie pool and had part of her intestinal tract sucked out by the uncovered drain.

Domed drain covers are a huge improvement to pool saftey, but ABC Nightly News still cautions that the drain cover law doesn't include private pools, and that any drain cover can become loose or brittle when exposed to chlorine and sunlight for long periods of time -- meaning the local pool or one in a friend's backyard could still pose a threat.

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In order to avoid this danger, the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals recommends that children never be allowed to play or swim near drains or suction fittings, and never enter a pool that has a broken, missing, or loose-fitting drain cover. Additionally, it advises all parents to immediately notify a pool's owner if you notice the drain cover is cracked or not fitting properly.

What happened to Isabella is a tragic accident, and it's only through awareness that we can keep it from happening to anyone else. We're rooting for this little girl and her mom, and we hope she's able to pull through and make a full recovery.

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