After nearly drowning, Johnson County toddler recovering

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WHITELAND, Ind.-- A Johnson County mother calls her son’s story of survival after nearly drowning a “miracle.”

On April 1, Rylan Waggoner was pulled from a retention pond at a Greenwood apartment complex.

After weeks in the hospital, he’s home, but without all the medical care his mom Dannielle Waggoner thinks he needs.

“All it takes is thirty seconds,” she said.

In just that small amount of time, Waggoner and her son’s lives changed.

“One morning you have a perfectly healthy child to finding out when you’re at work that your child’s nearly drowned,” said Dannielle.

Rylan’s father told police he was asleep while Rylan was visiting April 1 when the toddler opened his door. The deadbolt, he says, was not engaged.

The 2-year-old wandered into this apartment retention pond, unnoticed until a maintenance worker pulled him out.

After going so long without oxygen, Rylan suffered extensive brain damage.

Grandparents, aunts and uncles are helping Dannielle care for Rylan.

“He has to have medication every three hours,” said Danielle. “It was his thalamus that was damaged so any sensory or fine motor skills that he had are gone. He’s not mobile. He can’t move at all.”

With growing medical bills and denials or lengthy waits from insurance companies, Dannielle says she’s struggling to provide the best and most normal life possible for her son.

“A stander, I believe, is probably two thousand dollars,” said Danielle as she ticks off the growing list of expenses. “A medical bed is probably $5,000-$10,000.”

Since a bed she bought online has a broken railing and a mattress that doesn’t fit, getting a new one is a high priority, as is specialized therapy.

Ideally, she says, she’d like to take Rylan to the Jackson Center for group therapy. Since the center doesn’t accept Medicaid, paying several hundred dollars out of pocket would be her only option. That price is out of reach.

“Any kind of additional therapy will help,” said Danielle. “We’re just trying to get him as close to what we had before as we possibly can.”

Dannielle believes Rylan will improve, but she knows it will be a very long, expensive journey.

“We’ll just try get through it the best we can,” said Dannielle.

Dannielle says she continues to receive incredible support from family and friends with Rylan’s around-the-clock care.

If you’d like to help two-year-old Rylan have a chance at a normal life, you can donate to his medical care by clicking here.

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