A 10-year-old Farmington girl is alive and recovering after she nearly lost her life over the holiday weekend while swimming in the Meramec River near Meramec State Campground located outside Sullivan.
According to a press release from the Frankiln County Sheriff’s office, the sheriff’s department responded to the Meramec State Campground around 5 p.m. Saturday for a possible drowning. Franklin County deputies, Sullivan Fire Personnel and MOBAP EMS all were called to the scene.
The call was regarding Reese Tiefenauer, of Farmington, whom had struck a log while floating on the river while on a flotation device. The release indicated that upon striking the log which was laying perpendicular to the bank, the victim was sucked under the log by a strong undertow current.
She became lodged under the log and her lifejacket became entangled on branches in approximately 4 foot of water. Bystanders and family friends on a nearby gravel bar saw what happened. Attempts were made to rescue her.
After approximately 5 to 10 minutes, rescuers were able to free Reese and take her to the nearby gravel bar where resuscitation efforts began. Sullivan fire personnel arrived on the scene and proceeded to the area of Green Cave, approximately 1.5 miles upriver from the state park boat launch.
The reporting parties and victim were found on the gravel bar. Resuscitation efforts were taken over by MOBAP ambulance and Sullivan fire personnel and she was transported back to the boat launch area.
Reese was transferred to an ARCH helicopter for transport to Children’s Hospital in St. Louis. The incident was investigated by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of Missouri State Water Patrol.
Reese’s mom, Stephany Tiefenauer, posted on her Facebook page on Monday that Reese did good Sunday night and that she was breathing on her own with assistance of a ventilator if needed. She also posted that Reese kept waking up and having a hard time with the feeding tube, so they removed it for the time being.
Monday afternoon Stephany gave another update on her Facebook page that doctors completed two trials where they completely shut off the ventilator and Reese was able to breathe on her own. The youngster was able to follow commands, move all her body parts, and was expected to be taken off the ventilator completely. She was still in ICU being monitored at the time.
The word as of this morning was that the ventilator had been removed and Reese was breathing on her own and continued to improve.
Check back with the Daily Journal for an update on Reese’s recovery in coming days.
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com