Katie Tate July 10, 2013 – League City, Texas
by Julie Tate
While visiting her aunt and uncle in League City, Texas; Katie, a 24 year old excellent swimmer, drowned in their backyard pool. Her uncle performed CPR until an ambulance arrived. When the paramedics arrived she still had no pulse. The paramedics were eventually able to get a pulse, but she did not regain consciousness. They transported her to a local hospital where she crashed multiple times in the emergency room. Katie was on life support in a medically induced coma for 15 days. A ventilator breathed for her, and dialysis filtered her blood since her kidneys had completely shut down. Due to going an extended period of time without oxygen, Katie is now recovering from a traumatic brain injury as well as damage to her heart, lungs, and kidneys. After 5 weeks in the hospital she was able to go home. Since then, much of her time has been taken up with doctor’s appointments, physical, occupational and speech therapy. Considering that during the first 15 days after the accident the doctors did not give the family much hope, Katie is making an amazing recovery! She is off dialysis and while her organs are still damaged, it is only moderate damage compared to the critical condition they were in after the accident. At 8 months out, she is walking and talking and hoping that the doctors might let her start driving soon. She is still working to improve her memory and cognitive skills as well as her handwriting. The doctors tell us that we need to give her at least a year to recover. Katie grew up with a pool in her backyard, so she was a strong swimmer. Coming from a competitive family, there were a lot of holding your breath and who could swim the furthest underwater competitions. At the time of the accident, Katie had been holding her breath underwater to see if she could increase her time. Since everyone else had gone inside, no one knew why she drowned. After hearing that she had been holding her breath multiple times in the pool, the emergency room doctor is the one who told the family that he believed she had a shallow water blackout. Sadly, Katie and her family’s lack of knowledge about the dangers of holding your breath underwater led to her tragic accident. We now try to spread the word to anyone who will listen about the dangers of holding your breath underwater. Katie continues her recovery at home in Oklahoma.