Girl who nearly drowned in hotel pool recovering in hospital

By Lori Brown - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - An 11-year-old girl was fighting for her life Sunday after nearly drowning in an indoor hotel pool.

The young girl, Tierra, was in critical but stable condition Sunday.  

Police received the call just before 8:30 Saturday night at the Drury Inn on Sycamore View and Shelby Oaks Drive.

Two nurses who happened to be at the pool are likely the reason the girl is alive.  

Randy Hoerschgen, the husband of one of the nurses, said shortly after the rescue that when his wife saw the girl being pulled out of the water, she immediately started CPR.

"She had a pulse when we pulled her out of the water," Hoerschgen said.  "She kept her pulse and eventually did breathe."

Randy Hoerschgen and his wife Tracy, from Mandeville, Louisiana, were at the indoor pool celebrating their son's birthday with family from St. Louis.

Tracy Hoerschgen said she had to act quickly.

"I was scared I wasn't going to be able to get her breathing again before she lost her pulse," she said.  "Once a person stops breathing, it's a very short period of time before their heart stops beating."

A few minutes into CPR, another nurse came over to help.

"Started breathing on her own again," Tracy Hoerschgen said.  "It was very gurgling, you know, it was hard for her to breathe."

She said the despite her nursing experience, the situation shook her up.

"Being a nurse in a hospital you're never alone, there's always a team of your co-workers," Tracy Hoerschgen said.  "When you're out there on the pool deck, you're kind of all alone."

Tracy Hoerschgen said she did not want to be called a hero.

"I'm just thankful I could help out," she said.

Randy Hoerschgen said a guardian of the girl told him Sunday morning that the girl was still not speaking, but did respond to a request to squeeze the nurse's hand.

Randy and Tracy Hoerschgen said they felt it took a long time for paramedics to arrive.

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