In an exclusive interview with Good Morning America, Jennifer Marrow said Sept. 23 was a day like any other. It started with breakfast and a trip to the park, with her 2-year-old son, Henry. Then everything changed in an instant.
"I just know that he was there and then he was gone," Marrow told Good Morning America.
Marrow walked GMA through those harrowing moments of that morning in that same park, saying she was playing catch with her son when he disappeared from her sight.
"I picked up a football and I was actually faced, looking at him because I don't want to get him used to just running off and not paying attention," she said. "I don't really call him by his name outside of the house so I'm telling him, 'Bubby come back, Bubby you need to come back to mommy.' And he's crouched and I'm thinking he's playing in the dirt just not listening to me."
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Marrow said with no sight of Henry, she frantically ran searching for her son. It was as she was running that she heard him call her name. Marrow said she immediately saw a manhole cover, realized what had happened and called 911.
"I jumped in because he had now gone down the pipe," she said. "And when I couldn't see his face anymore, I got in, crawled down the pipe. I couldn't see, but then his head went under and I couldn't see him, so I had to pop back up and turn on my flashlight. I was crawling down to get him because it was too dark down the pipe."
Marrow said when she finally got hold of her son, she lifted both of them up and over the edge back to safety.
New Jersey fire units arrived on the scene just moments after. Bodycam video shows the rescue team attending to Marrow and her son and finding that Henry was conscious and alert. All of them were in disbelief of how Marrow was able to jump in and save her son.
"There was no other option. There was no other choice," Marrow said of her act of bravery. "There was no waiting. I don't think any mother would have waited."
While Henry is now on the mend and has been undergoing tests and treatments at the hospital, Marrow is calling for all manholes to be safely marked so incidents like the one she and her son experienced, "I'd like to see cones, maybe a different color, maybe flags," she said.