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Boy Submerged 40 Minutes Still in a Coma

January 14, 1988|United Press International

CHARLESTON, S.C. — A 9-year-old boy who spent 40 minutes under the icy water of a small pond remained in a coma Wednesday, and his doctor said it was too early to speculate whether the youngster will recover.

"Odds are against him fully recovering, but odds were against him being here now. He is beating the odds so far," said Dr. Fred Tecklenburg, director of the pediatric intensive care unit at Medical University of South Carolina.

"There is no guarantee he will survive or survive intact," Tecklenburg said. "It could be weeks before we see neurological improvement."

The doctor said the boy, Kendall Smith of Dillon, was responding to some stimuli and had opened his eyes once.

Smith was playing on an ice-covered pond near his home Tuesday with two friends when the ice cracked, plunging all three boys into the cold water. The two other youngsters managed to climb out of the pond.

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