MECHANICSVILLE, Va. (WRIC) — Four-year-old Nora Trotman from Mechanicsville was named the 2023 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® Champion for Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU.

She earned the title after surviving a near-drowning incident back in 2020.

Katie Jennings, Trotman’s mother, said her family attended a Father’s Day cookout and pool party.

Nicole Trotman floating in pool. (photo: Katie Jennings)

“Everything was closed so our friends put up an aboveground pool,” she said.

At one point, everyone was inside but then an adult took all the kids outside to eat some cupcakes.

When Jennings looked up, Trotman was nowhere to be found.

“I just said ‘Where’s Nora? Check the pool.’ And that’s when she was found floating face down in the pool,” she said.

Jennings’ husband pulled her out of the water. She had no heartbeat, so two nurses at the scene performed CPR for 12 minutes, Jennings said.

Nicole Trotman and Katie Jennings with Hanover County first responders. (photo: Katie Jennings)

Hanover County first responders arrived on scene moments after to take Trotman to the Children’s Hospital.

“Honestly, just praying to Jesus that Nora would come back,” Jennings said. “I was really sad and extremely traumatized.”

Trotman spent 17 days in the hospital. The first part of her stay was in the pediatric intensive care unit. Jennings said her daughter was on life support and in a medically induced coma for five days.

According to the Children’s Hospital level 1 pediatric trauma center, the center sees a significant number of near-drowning injuries and drowning deaths, typically in the warmer months. 

Now more than two years after nearly drowning, Trotman has made a full recovery.

She’s attending preschool at Kitty’s Kids in Hanover County and is preparing to start Kindergarten soon.

Meanwhile, Trotman and her family are making sure others don’t end up in a situation similar to hers. So, they’re educating people about water safety.

Jennings suggests having a pool isolation fence, putting alarms on all doors and getting some self-rescue swim lessons.

Trotman and her family will be raising money for the hospital. She can also be found on a local billboard as the Children’s Hospital’s ambassador for this year. “I’m proud of myself,” Trotman said.

Nicole Trotman featured on Children’s Hospital billboard. (photo: Katie Jennings)

“Nora will be our first call for all kinds of fun events and her photo and story will also be featured in this year’s campaign materials for our corporate sponsors, so the public will see her in retailers like Walmart, Sam’s Club and Costco,” Lauren Moore, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital Foundation said in a press release.

“Nora is so excited to be the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for CHoR,” said Jennings. “CHoR comforted our family in the worst time of our lives. The team always had the best for Nora in mind and we’re thankful to be able to support them in this way.”