SOMERVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A 23-month old toddler continues his fight for life tonight at Huntsville Hospital. Carter Peterson is showing some signs of improvement. Just nine days ago, Carter and his 3-year old cousin, Robbie Widner, fell into the family's backyard swimming pool. Little Robbie did not survive. Today, WHNT News 19's Al Whitaker sat down with Carter's family for an update on the little boy's struggle for life.
"I still, it's like a nightmare," says Brenda Garcia, the great-grandmother of both boys. She tells me she still hopes to wake up and realize the past nine days were just a bad dream. And then the reality of what happened here sets in again.
It was Monday, March 10th, when responders rushed to this home in the Somerville area because two young children were found in a swimming pool, both appeared lifeless. Brenda remembers getting the call.
"She called and said Robbie and Carter fell into the pool and they're not breathing. I don't even know what I, I couldn't breathe, I couldn't anything," Brenda said.
The next day, doctors told them there was no hope for Robbie. "They pronounced him brain dead Tuesday and I donated his organs to help other people."
Brenda says they cling to their memories and to the little things left behind. "He made that for me, that Valentine up there, and that's his hands. And it says whenever you want a hug from me, if I'm not around hug me with these hands."
Brenda says Carter is improving but his road to recovery will be long and challenging. Doctors take him off the ventilator for several hours at a time now, but it will be some time before he's well enough to leave the hospital, where his mother stays, right by his side.
"With every, with all the prayers and all the faith, Carter's gonna make it."
We checked with Huntsville Hospital late Tuesday afternoon. Carter remains in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. His condition has been upgraded from critical to serious.
From the reporter's notebook: Brenda Garcia and her family wish to extend their sincere gratitude to all of the responders who answered their call for help, and their heroic efforts to save both children.