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Girl, 6, hospitalized after nearly drowning in pool

A week after she celebrated her sixth birthday, Deanna Rick nearly drowned while playing with her older sisters and a neighborhood boy in the family pool.

Deanna was diving in and out of water around 3:30 p.m. Sunday when, for an unknown reason, she lost her grip on the side of the pool at their home, at 711 Bayshore Drive.

"Hey, your sister's on the bottom of the pool!" 4-year-old David Lee Flanders shouted to Deanna's oldest sister, April, 9.

April yelled for her father, David Rick, who was working in the yard nearby. Her mother, Barbara, was not home but arrived as paramedics revived Deanna.

April and her father pulled Deanna out of the water while Natasha, Deanna's 7-year-old sister, watched.

"The father said when he pulled her out, she was completely blue and not breathing," Tarpon Springs police Officer Barbara Templeton said.

Tarpon Springs paramedics and firefighters gave Deanna CPR at the scene. She was flown to Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg, where she was treated Sunday. She was transferred to All Children's Hospital and was in critical condition.

Templeton said she does not know how long Deanna was under water but that she was breathing and crying at the hospital.

Deanna's parents, who were in the emergency room, were too upset to talk about the incident.

Jean Risoldi, 72, sold the Ricks her former Bayshore Drive home last year. She recalled seeing the three Rick girls and warning the family about pool safety.

"It's really terrible," said Risoldi, who now lives in North Village in Tarpon Springs. "I can't get it off my mind. We just pray she's going to be okay."

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