4-year-old in critical condition after near drowning

Katie Crowther

4-year-old in critical condition after near drowning

CREATED Aug. 15, 2012

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Four-year-old Ricky Townsend is still in critical condition at Summerlin Hospital after nearly drowning.

The little boy was found lifeless at the bottom of a pool Saturday at an apartment complex near Buffalo and Vegas Drive.

"He's a strong little boy," says his mother, Shalita Greenley, who refuses to leave his side. "I know he's fighting. But, it's very scary because they told me the portion of his brain that made him who he is, is no longer there." 
   
Doctors say Ricky suffered severe brain damage. The four-year-old is on a ventilator and unresponsive.

"I have prepared the rest of my children to understand that their brother may be coming home completely different," Shalita says. "Regardless of what state he comes back in, I just want him back."

Ricky's siblings were there when he nearly drowned. It happened during his nine-year-old sister's birthday party. She's the one who found him lifeless at the bottom of the pool and screamed for help.

"To turn around and find your brother like that on your birthday, there's no getting over that," Shalita says. "How do you explain that? All our lives are completely different."

Shalita was planning to be at that pool party as soon as she got off work. She left her kids in the care of family members.

"It's devastating for everyone," Shalita says. "It's almost like my life has completely gone away. One moment he's there, and the next moment he's gone. It's even harder for me, because of the fact that I wasn't there."

Now as she's left hoping for a miracle, she makes this plea to other parents: "Cherish every minute with your children. Don't let them out of your sight, especially near water, because you never know what that next second will bring."

If you'd like to help this family, an account has been set up at the West Sahara/Lakes Branch of the Nevada State Bank. The account number is 0608033130 -- "Shalita Greenley for the benefit of Ricky Townsend."

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