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Madi Burns, 11, above with her mother, Lisa, left, brother, Mason, 4, and grandmother, Phyllis Turner, rescued her brother when he jumped into a hotel swimming pool without a life jacket. (Photo by Chris Adams)

Milltown girl, 11, saves little brother in pool

May 07, 2008
Eleven-year-old Madi Burns of Milltown didn't think about what she was doing, she just reacted. Trusting her instincts, she jumped into the deep end of the swimming pool after her 4-year-old brother, Mason.

The kids had just gotten done playing in a Lexington, Ky., hotel pool on April 12 when their mom, Lisa, and grandmother, Phyllis Turner, were drying off Mason. They no sooner got his inflatable life jacket off when he decided to jump back into the pool, heading for the eight-foot-deep end.

Mason stayed afloat for a couple of seconds, likely utilizing the dog paddle moves he learned during swim lessons at the YMCA of Harrison County, "and then he started going down," Lisa said.

Then, like a "flash," she said, Madi came out of nowhere to jump into the pool and pull Mason, who had sunk to the bottom, over to the ladder, where Lisa and Phyllis pulled him out of the pool.

Madi said she didn't think about what she was doing when she jumped into the pull, and Mason didn't resist when she got to him. However, she said, she was afraid that he might.

"I was nervous that he was going to pull me under," she said.

Lisa said her daughter is a good swimmer, but she, too, "was afraid he would drag her down."

Instead, Mason just laughed the entire time. Once out of the pool, however, he wasn't laughing as he received a thorough talking to about not jumping into the pool without a life jacket.

"I don't think it really even phased him," Lisa said of the rescue. "He's such a little daredevil anyway."

On the other hand, Madi "got lots of praise and she's spoiled rotten anyway," Lisa said smiling as her daughter nodded in agreement.

Madi is a forward on the traveling Net Surfers soccer team out of New Albany. The family was in the Lexington area that weekend for a couple of her games.

In addition to soccer, Madi, a fifth-grader at Milltown Elementary School, also plays on the school's basketball team and runs cross country and is a cheerleader.

Madi hasn't taken full advantage of the "big sister" power she now has over her little brother for rescuing him, as he is still a bit too young to understand, but she did get a thank you.

"He said, 'Thank you, sissy, for saving my life,' " Lisa said.

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