A mum who grew up in Waterlooville has spoken of the terrifying moment her four-year-old daughter was sucked into a hot tub filter.
Isabella Hristova suffered life-threatening injuries to her bowel and intestine in the accident, which happened on February 25.
Her mum Nicola Floyd, 28, would take her swimming near the family’s home in Bulgaria every Saturday, but their routine was marred by disaster when Isabella was sucked into the filter.
Nicola moved out to Bulgaria 10 years ago with partner Hristo Hristov, before Isabella was born in June 2012.
On the day of the incident, Nicola, her mother Barbara Burchell, 49, and Isabella went to the Admiral Hotel in Zlatni Piasatzi, about 20 minutes from their home.
After swimming for an hour and a half they got into the hot tub to warm up, but did not realise the filter was lying open under the water.
Speaking to the Sun, Nicola said: ‘Isabella never cried, but she just started screaming, “My tummy, my tummy.”
‘She’d been sucked in and wasn’t strong enough to push herself out. I tried with everything I had, pulling away, but I couldn’t free her either.
‘Mum ran to get the lifeguard and the staff turned the electricity off. It was only then that I could get hold of her.
‘When I pulled her out, her intestine was in my hands.’
Isabella was raced to a neaby hospital for surgery on her bowel, before being placed in an induced coma and hooked up to a life support machine.
Since then her condition has been downgraded from critical to serious, and she has been able to walk about.
Nicola added: ‘Nobody can say much right now. We’ve no idea what the lasting impact will be.
‘The doctors have been amazing. They’ve saved my little girls’ life.’
A spokesman for the Admiral Hotel said an investigation was taking place into what caused the accident, and expressed: ‘its concern and compassion on the occasion of the serious accident.’