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Covington man helps save 8-year-old from drowning in hotel pool

Covington man helps save 8-year-old from drowning in hotel pool (WKRC)

COVINGTON, Ky. (WKRC) - By looking at 8-year-old Brayden Miller, you wouldn’t know that he survived a traumatic event this past Saturday.

He’s happy, healthy and greets his parents with a big smile as he comes home after Bible camp.

The Radcliff, Kentucky, boy was at Gold Vault Inn with his family Saturday. He was swimming in the crowded pool with other children. Brayden tried to stay afloat, but he went under at some point.

Brayden described what happened to him:

“I passed out because I was getting tired and I went under water and I hit Tay's leg,“ he said.

“Tay” is Deontay Persley. The Covington man drove from northern Kentucky to Hardin County to visit with his fiancée. It was a trip that Persley had been reluctant to take, but it’s a trip that changed his life and helped save another.

Persley, who doesn't swim and doesn't like pools, was in the hotel pool with his fiancée to cool off.

“I felt something hit my foot at the bottom of the pool,“ Persley said. “When I looked back, I could see his face was blue and purple and his lips. So I grabbed his leg and he didn't move, so that's when I proceeded to pull him out of the water.”

Crystal Miller is Brayden's mother. She and Brayden's dad were watching their child nearby at the pool and saw Persley pulling Brayden out of the water.

Crystal said, "Instant panic. I remember screaming, Oh my God, is that my son? Is that Brayden?"

When Braydon regained consciousness, he made eye contact with his father and began crying. The group knew he was okay, but they still had medics check on Brayden.

Brayden was fine and what resulted was a series of heart-melting pictures of Brayden and Deontay hugging after the scare. There's also now an unbreakable bond between two families.

Persley said, "I've been through a lot and I've always sometimes take life for granted, but I won't ever do that again."

Crystal added, "I mean this man doesn't know us from Adam and now I feel like Brayden has a life-long friend."

Brayden's family is hoping the incident brings awareness and that hotels will begin to have lifeguards at pools.


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