THE parents of a young boy who almost drowned last weekend were yesterday planning a party to celebrate his release from hospital.
Bradley Sweeney (4) was rushed to University Hospital Galway last Sunday after he was pulled from the water at Leisureland swimming pool in Salthill, Galway.
His father, John Paul Sweeney, said the family was "over the moon" after his return to their home in Ballybane in Galway city.
He said Bradley went straight out to play with his brother Sean (6), sisters Chantelle (8) and Megan (3) and his cousins after spending four nights in hospital.
"We plan to have a party for him," Mr Sweeney said.
"We could have been planning a funeral today. I nearly died myself to be honest -- I'll never get over it."
The family, including his mother Maria and cousins, were enjoying a day out at Leisureland when Bradley got into difficulties in the public swimming pool. He was taken from the water by lifeguards.
"They were playing around in the kids pool and he must have wandered over to the other big pool where there was an inflatable castle," his father said.
Mr Sweeney added he thought his son must have gone to the bathroom when he couldn't see him in the children's pool.
"I was running around the changing rooms looking for him and my wife went to the bathroom," he said.
"When I went back they were doing CPR on him. My wife fell on her two knees.
"I was numb for two days. Five minutes seems like a lifetime when something like that happens.
"He still has a chest infection and we have to bring him back in a month's time. But he is now running around outside playing with the other kids," he said.
Galway City Council, which owns the complex, said there were 10 lifeguards on duty, with eight on the deck, at Leisureland at the time of the incident and they would be investigating exactly what had occurred.
Donal Lyons, a Galway city councillor and chairman of Galway/Salthill Failte Ltd, which oversees the running of the complex, said an internal investigation was being undertaken at the centre.
Mr Lyons said that after a preliminary look at video footage from one camera they were satisfied the lifeguards had swiftly acted to administer CPR "which effectively saved the young boy". "We are delighted there has been a happy ending," he said.