Toddler saved by teen after chasing dog into pond - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Toddler saved by teen after chasing dog into pond

(NBC) - A Nelson County toddler is still alive after a neighbor's quick thinking actions. 

It all started when Jessica Vittitow received a call from her husband who had been involved in an accident Friday afternoon. The mother of five told her children to get in the car for the ride to pick up their father. As the children made their way outside, the family dog ran out of the house. Two-year-old Jackson Vittitow followed behind as his mother took his big brother to the bathroom.

"I was just walking past this door and I see a two-year-old chasing this dog around a lake," said Kody Stallings, a freshman at Nelson County High who lives across the street from the Vittitows. "I had this uneasy feeling so I walked to my room and started emptying my pockets. I came back. I couldn't see the kid anymore."

Stallings rushed outside to the pond behind his mother's Ice Road home. Fear settled in about Jackson as the Vittitow's dog stood wet beside the water's edge.

"He was floating face down and he was starting to kind of roll and his eyes were closing.  That's the point when I was actually scared because I thought he was dead," Stallings said. 

But Stallings remembered his ROTC training.

"I believe ROTC actually helped with courage, strength and overall character."

"I was running so quick I could have run on water for all I know. A miracle I guess, I really cannot swim at all," explained Stallings. 

And the miracles didn't stop there.

"When I grabbed him, he kind of jolted and he started breathing and coughing," Stallings said of reaching the toddler.

"I took him over there and then the mother just kind of attacked me with love," Stallings said.

"I'm just happy. Glad he is alive."

The rescue happened about 300 yards away from the search already underway by Vittitow and the other four children.   

"We couldn't ever repay him with anything, but he'll get an Easter present from us every year," Vittitow said.

Jackson Vittitow was checked about by paramedics and amazingly suffered no injuries.

"It didn't phase him any but it about killed me," Vittitow said.

Vittitow's husband made it home safely from his car accident.

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