JENSEN BEACH, Fla. -- The girl fell into the pool and her brother, who went for a dip, saw the toddler at the bottom of the pool and grabbed her. Doctors said if Brady Banasiak had chosen to surface and call for help, his sister probably wouldn't have made it.
Brady Banasiak, 7, was the hero Saturday when a birthday party for one of his aunts almost turned tragic.
The blond-haired, blue-eyed Brady saved his 2 1/2-year old sister, Brooke, from drowning after the toddler fell in the pool at the family's home in the 500 block of Ember Way in The Pines subdivision.
"It was the worst sight ever," dad Rob Banasiak said of his daughter's fall.
The family was having a 40th birthday party for one of mom Julie's sisters.
Rob Banasiak was manning the grill and with every flip of the burgers he would glance over his left shoulder at Brooke, who was a few feet away playing with a ball. Somehow the ball fell in the pool and the 3-foot-tall girl reached for it and fell in.
She drifted to the bottom at a depth of 3 to 4 feet.
Brady was jumping on a trampoline when he said got hot and decided he needed a dip in the pool to cool off.
After diving in the pool, he floated to the bottom, where he felt something against his foot.
He looked down and saw his sister, not moving.
"At first I thought she was playing. Then, I remembered Brookie can't swim," Brady said Tuesday, using his sister's nickname.
So, the 4-foot, 58-pound Brady carried his sister's 28-pound body to the surface.
Brooke's blond head was hanging back, foam was coming from her mouth and her breath was shallow, Rob Banasiak said.
Rob Banasiak, a physical therapist, said he took his daughter and rolled her on her side and she began spitting up water.
"She started screaming at the top of her lungs," Julie Banasiak said. "It was the best sound I'd heard my entire life."
Stuart Fire Rescue responded to the call and took the girl to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach. Doctors couldn't find any water in her lungs but kept her overnight for observation.
Doctors said if Brady had chosen to surface and call for help, his sister probably wouldn't have made it, Julie Banasiak said.
"It had to be God," Julie Banasiak said.
But not all cases involving children who fall into swimming pools have a happy ending, Martin County Fire Rescue Bureau Chief Daniel Harshburger said.
"Typically the outcome is usually something negative, tragic," he said. "You normally don't get kids bouncing back."
When Brooke came home from the hospital, she heard Brady asking to go in the pool. She wanted to go, too.
"She knows that she doesn't want to go under the water again," Julie said.