Neighbors save child from drowning in Colonie

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A mom is thanking her neighbors for saving her daughter after she almost drowned in a pool.

A quiet Colonie neighborhood was on edge Friday afternoon, trying to find a little girl named Teresa.

Thankfully, she’s now home safe but only because her neighbors came to her rescue.

“I’ve been dreaming about it since the last two nights, kind of rethinking it through my mind what happened,” said Mary Mawn, Teresa’s Mom

Mary Mawn was in the backyard getting the small pool ready, when her daughter, Teresa went missing.

“My daughter has special needs. She has Down syndrome and so she does have a tendency to wander, although this is the first time she’s left the house,” Mawn said.

Teresa, 6 years old, found a way to get out of her home through the side door in the garage.

“I saw the door was open and so I came outside. I looked up and down the street, it was quiet as could be,” Mawn said.

Right away Mary called 911 and alerted her neighbors.

“I’ve got four of my own kids you know I would want somebody to help me,” said Patricia Olsen, a neighbor.

When the news spread to Patricia Olsen and her son Ben, they knew they had to help.

So, they got in their car and started driving around the circle, picking up Gerard Rhatigan along the way.

“We were at the corner. I told him we had to pull into their driveway. Something just changed in me and I knew in my heart something was wrong,” Olsen said.

Patricia had a bad feeling Teresa was in their neighbor’s pool and when they stopped the car, that’s exactly what they saw.

“We didn’t think about it. We didn’t say anything. We just ran over,” said Ben Olsen.

“All you could see was just the top of her head. There was nothing else,” said Patricia Olsen.

Together they pulled her out.

“We kind of all helped her over to the ladder and it was really kind of a team effort,” said Gerard Rhatigan.

Teresa was safe and sound and her mom couldn’t have felt more relieved.

“I’m indebted to their help and support. I’m very, very grateful,” Mawn said.

A close call that Mary hopes will encourage others to keep their pools secure.

“I just hope that, hope this never happens to us again and that it doesn’t happen to other families,” Mawn said.

Mary says she’s looking into swimming lessons for Teresa in the near future.

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