TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – “It could have been a lot worse,” Jaclyn Hamby told KSNT News as she recalled the day her son nearly drowned.
Having just learned how to unlock a door, 3-year-old Elijah wandered away from home while his dad used the bathroom on April 30.
What happened next has made headlines across the globe.
Elijah found himself drowning in Central Park Pond, just a few steps away from his family’s Topeka home.
It was the quick thinking of Topeka Police Officer, Aaron Bulmer that saved the boy’s life.
Out on patrol, Bulmer was responding to a domestic call nearby. Once the toddler’s flailing arms caught his eye, he never made it to the scene.
Police body camera footage shows Bulmer running from his car, through a grassy area of the park before he plunged into the water.
Fully submerged, the 6-foot-9 officer grabbed the toddler and handed him off to a passerby as he yelled “call 911.”
With the toddler safe and sound, Hamby thanked the officer for his heroic actions, Wednesday.
The toddler, who has autism, has left an impact on Bulmer – who says he’ll now spend time educating himself on the disorder.
“He’ll be my buddy for life,” Bulmer said with a smile.