Jayla Dallis (center) was honored by the Chamblee City Council on Wednesday.
Photo: City of Chamblee
Photo: City of Chamblee

Hailed as a hero, 10-year-old honored by city for saving drowning sister

A 10-year-old girl credited with saving her younger sister from drowning was honored by the Chamblee City Council on Wednesday, along with a police sergeant who helped administer CPR to the 3-year-old.

Jayla Dallis received a citizen’s lifesaving award, as well as a gift basket, for her heroics on May 15 when her sister Kali began to drown.

Kali had jumped into the shallow end with a small pool float around her waist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. When the float tipped, she became trapped with her feet in the air. Then her body slipped out of the tube, and she went under.

Surveillance footage, which later when viral nationally, shows Jayla jump into action. She had just gotten out of the pool when she turned around and saw her sister’s body underwater. She leaped into the water and pulled Kali out.

Kali Dallis, 3, was in the pool at her Chamblee apartment complex on May 15 when she went underwater.

Jayla and other family members began to administer CPR on the young girl. Chamblee police Sgt. Ed Lyons, a veteran officer and the father of a 6-year-old girl, had also arrived and began to perform CPR until Kali began breathing again and was taken to the hospital.

Police Chief Kerry Thomas called the saga a “very touching situation.”

“I want to reiterate that if it wasn't for the fact that she jumped in the pool and pulled her sister out of the pool and immediately began CPR, then the chances of her survival would have been a whole lot less,” Thomas said during the meeting.

Earlier this week, Channel 2 Action News first showed you dramatic video of the moments her 10-year-old sister, Jayla Dallis, realized she was drowning and raced to get her out of the pool.

Kali was released from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite after two weeks in the hospital, and attended the meeting with her family Wednesday evening.

Lyons also received a special lifesaving award for his professionalism and quick response to the scary situation.

“If it wasn't for them doing what they did, I wouldn’t have stood a chance of having anything to do,” Lyons told the AJC. “They did something extraordinary.”

Jayla has also been honored by DeKalb County and her school, Huntley Hills Elementary School. When she grows up, she wants to continue her lifesaving heroics and be an Atlanta police officer.

Follow DeKalb County News on Facebook and Twitter 

In other news:

It formed last Tuesday next to the house off Covington Highway when heavy rain caused a pipe to burst underneath her yard.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.