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Youngsters spring into action to save mom from drowning

Two Claremont youngsters are being hailed as heroes after rescuing their mother from drowning last month. Quick thinking from Morgan Law, 12, and Benji Law, 5, saved their mother, Susan Law, after she fell into the deep end of their backyard pool.

It happened at the tail end of a summer afternoon on July 28. The Law family had just returned to their Claremont home from a beach trip. Morgan and Benji’s father, David Law, decided to take their dog to the vet for a check-up.

A half an hour later, he received a call from Morgan’s cell phone. But it wasn’t his son; it was a police officer.

“I said, wait a minute, why are you in my house?” Mr. Law recalled. “And the guy over the phone, he said, ‘Your wife fell into the pool.’”

Susan Law doesn’t know how to swim. She almost drowned once before when she was younger—she fell into a public pool but was quickly rescued by a lifeguard. On this July evening, Ms. Law and Benji were in the backyard admiring their garden, which sits adjacent to the deep end of the pool.

“As we were heading back, I took two or three steps, and the next thing I know I’m in the water,” she said.

Ms. Law doesn’t know how she ended up in the pool, but she quickly found herself in a dangerous situation.

“I was struggling,” she said. “When I was able to get up out of the water, all I could do was call to Benji, ‘Get your brother. Go get your brother,’ because I knew he was the only hope to try to save me.”

It was all she could muster before she went under. She was swallowing water, she couldn’t move her hands or legs and she was slipping into unconsciousness.

“When I was looking everywhere, all I could see was white,” she said. “Everything was just white to me.

“At that moment, I really thought I was going to die,” Ms. Law added.

Benji, meanwhile, sprung into action. A wrought-iron gate, with a latch too high for a five-year-old boy to reach, surrounded the pool. But Benji stepped on the gate’s lower bar, which made him just tall enough to pop open the latch.

“I ran in to go get my brother and then we ran out super fast,” Benji said.

Morgan was in his room reading when Benji burst in.

“I said, ‘This is very important, mommy needs help,” Benji said.

Morgan thought his mom got into an accident, and raced into the backyard. At first, he couldn’t see Ms. Law, save for a lone slipper at the pool’s edge. But then he looked into the pool.

“I look up and I saw her floating beneath the water level,” he said.

When asked what was going through his mind, Morgan’s voice became quieter.

“I hoped she didn’t pass out or die already,” he said. “Because I don’t want her to die, I want her to have a long life.”

Morgan didn’t hesitate; he jumped into the pool and grabbed his mother. One arm was holding her up, while the other was paddling both of them to the shallow end of the pool and out of the water.

Ms. Law was unconscious, and her lips were purple. Morgan instructed Benji to keep their mother’s head up so she could get oxygen.

He first called his dad, who didn’t pick up, and then he called 911.

“I told them to hurry up, because I thought it was very important,” Morgan said.

Then, sirens were heard. First responders arrived to the scene, rushed over to Ms. Law and revived her. The two boys saved their mother from drowning. Officers and neighbors rushed the two boys inside the house to calm them down.

“They said they were proud of us, me and Benji,” Morgan said.

When Mr. Law arrived home after that fateful phone call, he was first met by a Claremont police officer.

“He came to me and shook my hand. And he said, ‘Hey, you’ve got two strong boys in there,’” Mr. Law said. “‘They saved your wife’s life.’”

When Ms. Law regained consciousness, she was out of the pool and safe. But all she could think about was her boys.

“I wasn’t sure where the little one was, because I was afraid the little one tried to jump in the water,” she said.

She was transported to a hospital, and wasn’t reunited with her sons until they met her in her hospital bed.

“When I saw them it was relief, like, ‘Oh they’re good, they are okay,’” she said.

When Morgan saw his mother in the hospital bed, the adrenaline from the incident finally broke, and he was overcome with emotion.

“She said, ‘I’m very proud of you, both of you,’” Morgan said. “And she hugged me and she was very happy to see me and I cried a lot.”

Ms. Law stayed in the hospital overnight, and was released the next day. She’s been out of work for the past three weeks, as she recovers from the incident. She has shortness of breath, and the emotional trauma of the incident still lingers.

She has a new outlook on life, and little things, such as grocery shopping, have earned a new significance for her.

“I was looking at the vegetables and fruits, and I was crying and in tears because something as simple as grocery shopping. I felt very happy to do something like that,” she said.

She still has a fear of the water, but is thinking of taking swimming lessons. But most of all, Ms. Law is proud of her boys for saving her life.

“I’m just so thankful I’m still alive, and still able to be a mom,” she said.

—Matthew Bramlett

news@claremont-courier.com