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2-year-old nicknamed 'Miracle Mia' after she survives near drowning in Poway

Mia's parents found her face down in a pool. She underwent more than twenty minutes of CPR and survived without injury.

POWAY, Calif. — The Preston family was visiting from Arizona and only supposed to visit family in Poway for three days. But the family trip turned into a dire emergency

While visiting Nick’s parents in Poway in March, Alia ran to the store and Nick stayed behind with the couple’s four children. The doorbell rang and in the momentary distraction of answering the front door, 2-year-old Mia went missing.

“It’s every day that I wake up and see her and I am with her and I can’t imagine that she wouldn’t be here,” said Alia Preston, mother of 2-year-old, Mia.

CBS 8’s Heather Myers spoke with Alia and Nick Preston who live just outside Gilbert, Arizona.  


“I got a little bit more frantic because I was running out of places to look and that’s when I looked out the window and saw her body floating down, not moving,” remembers Nick.

Nick pulled Mia out of the pool. She had no pulse and no sign of life. Suddenly Nick remembered how to do CPR from a workshop he took back in high school, 27 years ago. At the same time, the Poway Fire Department was called.

“It’s the worst call you can possibly go on as a firefighter,” said Captain Jonathan Marshall.

Captain Marshall says all lifesaving procedures were immediately started on Mia. She was quickly transported to Rady Children’s Hospital on CPR status the entire time.

“20 minutes of CPR administration was but probably the most traumatic. You would think she would be brain dead at this point because of that,” said Alia. 

Alia arrived at the hospital to find emergency doctors continuing CPR on her daughter.

Doctors at Rady Children’s Hospital say they see several children come into the ICU every month because of an accident at a pool.

“The moment a child has lost a pulse, if they perform chest compressions, and they’re pumping blood to the brain, that’s the most vital organ to preserve in all of the chaos,” said Dr. Helen Harvey from the Rady Children’s Hospital Critical Care Unit.

For days Mia started showing more and more hope.  Ultrasounds didn’t reveal anything major and astonishingly, an MRI showed no damage to her brain.


“It seemed like one doctor would come over and bring two or three to follow and they’re like, ‘and how long was she under, this doesn’t make any sense, that’s amazing’,” said Nick.   

On day nine, Mia was released and gave Dr. Harvey a hug on the way out of the hospital.

“Sometimes in the pediatric ICU it can be very very sad and so those moments when you have a child come back to the ICU, walking, talking, and being their normal selves and they they give you a hug, it makes everything worth it,” said Dr. Harvey.


The Preston’s took Mia to visit the firefighters in Poway who first arrived on scene.

“You pray after a call like this and it many cases you don’t see that happen but in this case it was an absolute blessing to see and meet the mother and the child and see the little kid perfectly healthy,” said Captain Marshall.

Her nickname is now “Miracle Mia.”

“In today’s world I don’t think we see a lot of miracles, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a miracle this big in my life and now she’s walking around in our house every, proving to use that they exist,” said Alia.

If you are interested in signing up for a local CPR class, visit the American Heart Association's CPR website

WATCH RELATED: Family thanks Escondido firefighters for saving son (March 2022).