Trooper Honored For Saving Toddler From Near-Drowning

June 6, 2012 Updated Jun 6, 2012 at 11:18 PM EDT

By John Borsa

June 6, 2012 Updated Jun 6, 2012 at 11:18 PM EDT

BOSTON, NY (WKBW) - This Saturday -- Lillian Nawotka -- a bright and bubbly toddler from the Town of Boston -- will celebrate her second birthday. A day she almost did not live to see.

"She was my birthday present," said Sarah Nawotka, the girl's mother.

Sarah and her husband Robert have New York State Trooper Christopher Sullivan to thank.

Lillian was standing near the family pool on May 22 when she fell in. There were adults in the pool, but they didn't see Lillian fall in right away. And they didn't hear her either.

When Lillian was pulled out of the water after being under for less than a minute she was not breathing and she was unconscious.

Enter Trooper Sullivan, who answered the 911 call for help.

"I think it was parental instincts along with the training that I received with the State Police. I just did what I had to do and everything from there took place the way it should," Sullivan said.

Sullivan performed CPR and revived Lillian. By the time the Boston Ambulance Corps. arrived... the toddler was responsive and breathing.

"It was probably around 4 in the morning that night that we found out that she's going to be okay. They took some of the painkillers off and she was reacting to the tubes in her throat and grabbing for them. At that point they knew that there was no brain damage or anything like that," said Robert.

Trooper Sullivan was honored tonight by the Boston Town Board along with first responders credited with saving Lillian's life.

"Feels good," Sarah said. "Feels good that he's honored."

"I don't even know how to say thank you to be honest with you," said Robert. "I don't even know what to say but thank you."