(credit: CBS 11 News)

DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Doctors say Sammy Doolan’s survival after a near drowning is nothing short of “miraculous.”

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Dr. Benjamin Olsson, Pediatric Critical Care Physician Medical City Dallas says Sammy’s vital signs were “not compatible with life.”

The 11-month-old Plano boy fell into the swimming pool at his grandfather’s home in Plano on Saturday, October 6th.  Sammy’s uncle, Jason Doolan, was there.  He’s an E.M.T. and administered CPR until paramedics arrived.

“I saw my brother carrying Sammy, his limp, unresponsive, body,” says Jason Doolan.

“I thought we lost him,” says Matthew Doolan, Sammy’s father. “And it was horrible,” he adds.

When Medical City Plano prepared to transfer Sammy to Medical City Dallas, Doctor Olsson was on duty, reviewed the vital signs and suggested the medical team not try to warm his body temperature.

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Dr. Olsson says he suggested something different. Rather than attempting to raise his body temperature to a normal level, Olsson followed the protocol which is currently being used in a nationwide study called Therapeutic Hypothermia After Cardiac Arrest.

“It’s kind of like when you have a sprained ankle or a bump on your elbow.  If you put an ice pack on there, the cooling just helps with the swelling”.  Dr. Olsson says it may have helped the swelling in Sammy’s brain.

After the 72-hour process ended, Sammy started to show signs of improvement.  “Somewhat to our surprise, because the initial injury seemed so severe, he began showing signs of good brain function,” says Dr. Olsson.  “He was breathing on his own on the ventilator, showing signs of movement, even purposeful movement, trying to grab things.”

“He’s a miracle baby,” says Sammy’s father, Matthew Doolan.

Sammy will be one year old this Sunday, and his father is hoping he’ll be discharged Saturday.

And his parents are already planning for Halloween.  “He was going to be Spider Man for Halloween, but now he’s going to be Super Man,” says Sammy’s father.

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