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Four-year-old falls from high dive, now recovering


LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - His family says he's lucky to be alive. A four-year-old boy is recovering after falling 10 feet off a high dive onto some concrete at the Woodland Park Pool in Lexington.

Now, his parents say they want to alert other families about what happened, so their children can stay safe.

"They're swim rats," said Chuck Thompson, the four-year-old's father. "They go everyday."

It's all the Thompson family does during the summer. They have season passes and go every chance they get.

"It was our anniversary, and the kids wanted to go swimming. So we went swimming, and unfortunately, we had a tragic accident," said Thompson.

That freak accident on Sunday evening put four-year-old Tristan Thompson in Kentucky Children's Hospital where he's still recovering.

"He went out on the board," said Thompson. "And all of a sudden, I saw him already halfway in the air and fell face first right into the concrete."

Tristan's father says he was standing on the high dive's ladder right behind his son when it happened. He says Tristan fell 10 feet, slipping between the rails along the diving board.

"Then he laid there motionless, and I had the worst thoughts of my life," said Thompson.

But to everyone's amazement, Tristan got up screaming with only three fractures to his jaw. Doctors say he has no brain damage, not even a concussion.

"I feel like I slacked up that one time thinking safety was there," said Thompson. "He's done it a million times, but it just takes that one time."

Not only had Tristan jumped off that high dive at Woodland Park dozens of times before, but his time off was actually last summer when he was only three years old.

WKYT's Jerrika Insco then asked Thompson what he had to say to the people who say four years old is too young to be on a high dive.

"Well, it could be a 60-year-old person up there. I mean anybody could fall off the high dive up there," said Thompson. "You just have to be careful on wet surfaces."

His parents say they feel guilty but added that Tristan's older siblings all jumped off at that young age, so they didn't think twice about it. But now Tristan's dad wants this to be a lesson for other parents, so that it doesn't happen to any other young kids.

"We got an extra chance with our son," said Thompson. "He's going to be recovering, and that's the lucky thing."

Lexington parks and recreation leaders tell us there is one rule when it comes to who can jump off the high dive, and it's that you have to be able to swim. Tristan's parents tell us he learned how to swim more than one year ago.

We are told Tristan is in fair condition and is expected to have surgery on his jaw within the next 24 hours.


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