On Valentine’s Day in 2009, a pickup truck carrying 7 year old Tiffany Dombrowski plunged through the thin ice on Lake Winnebago. Tiffany’s best friend, 9 year old Savannah Kleinhans, and Savannah’s father, who was driving the truck, drowned in the accident. Tiffany was pulled from the icy waters, and though initially unresponsive, was saved by rescuers.
Three years later, while recovering from brain injuries sustained in the accident, Tiffany, now aged 10, continues her recovery by pursuing a dream she has… by walking through the doors of Green Bay Scuba. She wants to learn to scuba dive so she can become a rescue diver, and one day save someone like Savannah.
“If that’s her motivation, then it just warms my heart,” says Justine Katze, mother of Savannah Kleinhans, to ABC Green Bay affiliate WBAY.
Another inspiration is Tiffany’s dive teacher, Connie Loewe. Connie was one of the first responders who helped save Tiffany’s life, and has stayed in contact with her ever since the accident.
“I wanted to be somebody like Connie” Tiffany tells WBAY reporter Taky Ono.
“It makes me feel great. It just makes everything I do worthwhile,” Connie responds. “No matter how much bad happens, there’s so much good that comes out of it.”
Despite Tiffany’s ordeal she has bravely been taking classes with Connie where Tiffany receives basic training and education on how to properly scuba dive. “It’s like being a tadpole in the water!” says Tiffany.
“To hear that she even wants to give this a shot is just a credit to her [Tiffany],” explains Jason Presto, Savannah’s brother.
Although many obstacles remain for Tiffany, her goal to one day become a certified diver is now one step closer.