Toddler in critical condition after found in family's backyard swimming pool

GASTONIA, N.C. — A toddler is in critical condition after being found in a Gastonia pool over the weekend, according to police.

On Saturday around 11:20 a.m., officers were called to a home on Holly Hills Drive in reference to a possible drowning after a 2-year-old child was found unresponsive in the backyard pool.

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The child's great-aunt, Debora Flowers, said Grayson Brannon was playing with his two siblings and another young family member.

Flowers said Grayson loved the pool, loved the water and loved playing in the pool with his father, Justin Brannon.

(Grayson Brannon)

She told Channel 9's Gaston County reporter Ken Lemon she thinks Grayson probably went to scoop water from the pool in a pair of goggles to make mud pies and fell in.

Older family members said they soon realized the boy was not with the other children and started searching for him.

Grayson's father, Justin Brannon, spotted him in the pool and dove in to get him. Flowers said Grayson's dad performed CPR until EMS arrived, refusing to give up.

"Come through the back door and laid him down and started CPR," Flowers said. "All he was saying was 'God, my baby! My baby!'"

Emergency responders rushed Grayson to CaroMont Regional Medical Center before he was transferred to Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.

(Justin and Grayson Brannon)

As of Monday morning, Grayson was listed in critical condition. Flowers said the family understands how difficult the situation is, but they have a lot of prayer and support.

"He probably wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for his father," Flowers said. "He is going to get better."

No other details have been released and police are still investigating the incident.

Check back with wsoctv.com for updates on this story.