KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — This story is about a little hero.
It’s a story that could have had a much different outcome about a toddler girl who fell into the pool and her 4-year-old big brother who saved her life. It's also a story of awareness for parents of young kids because this could happen to anyone.
Gray and Andie Forrester are the best of friends. Like most siblings, they play, they laugh, they love each other.
But only one word can describe what happened just days before this happy moment, a miracle.
It happened when the kids got into the pool area without their mom knowing.
Andie jumped in.
“She was doggy paddling like this. I grabbed her tummy. I was trying to lift her so she could breathe,” said now 5-year-old Gray Forrester.
"Who got you out of the pool?” asked 10News Anchor Abby Ham.
“Gray,” said 2-year-old Andie Forrester. “He saved me.”
“Andie walked up and said, 'I falled in the pool! I falled in the pool!' She was soaking wet and I looked at Gray and he was soaking wet and I just panicked,” said Forrester. “I flash forward so many times on how it happened so fast cause they had just been with me not even five minutes ago.“
Knoxville mom Laura Forrester was very careful when they moved into their new house to take the proper pool precautions.
"We installed the safety fence and the kids knew never to go out there without an adult or a babysitter. We installed beeps on the doors. We thought we had taken all the precautions,” said Forrester.
But just like that, tragedy almost struck.
”Gray is a hero. I think in that moment for a 4-year-old to be able to react like that is a God thing. I think God was with Andie and Gray that day. It's the only thing that makes sense because it was so remarkable,” said Forrester.
It was this scare that made Laura rush to enroll Andie in swim classes at Swim N Float.
“It's a 6-week course you go Monday through Thursday every day for six weeks for ten minutes and by the end of it, they can save themselves,” said Forrester.
“At the beginning, we see tears because the kids are upset and crying in the water. At the end we see tears because it's amazing what they can do,” said owner and instructor at Swim N Float, Camilla Hephner.
We checked in on Andi three weeks into classes at Swim N Float on her swim test day.
“We test the kids in more of a real-life situation. Normally when kids fall into a pool, it's not at swimming time when everyone is hanging out at the pool in the pool swimming, it's when they got into the pool and nobody knows,” said Hephner.
So Andi was fully dressed, clothes, shoes, a diaper, and look how incredible, Andie can swim!
”She passed! She was amazing!” said Hephner.
Laura has an important message to other parents.
”If people hear this story and they live close to the water, the lake or a pool or whatever, that they will consider signing up for this class because no matter what precautions you take, it can still happen. And I hope that maybe it could save somebody else’s life,” said Forrester.
For now, Laura is so relieved, so thankful and so proud of her little hero.