Mom Who Saved Son from Playground Manhole Says She Had 'No Other Option' But to Jump Into Sewage

"I just know that he was there and then he was gone," Jennifer Marrow said of the incident involving her 2-year-old son Henry

A New Jersey mother is speaking out for the first time since saving her son after he fell down a manhole
Jennifer Marrow. Photo: Good Morning America Twitter

A New Jersey mother is speaking out after saving her toddler from a playground manhole.

Jennifer Marrow said she didn't think twice about jumping into the dark manhole after her 2-year-old son Henry fell inside and disappeared, according to Good Morning America.

"There was no other option. There was no other choice," she told the outlet. "There was no waiting. I don't think any mother would have waited."

As PEOPLE previously reported, Marrow was playing with Henry at Kawameeh Park in Union on Sept. 23 when he suddenly disappeared.

"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," Marrow explained to GMA.

"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,' " she continued. "And he's crouched and I'm thinking he's playing in [the] dirt, just not listening to me."

manhole in park
A manhole in a park. Getty

As it turned out, Henry had fallen approximately seven feet down into an open manhole, which had two feet of sewage water at the bottom, reaching up to his chin, Chief Michael Scanio with the Union Fire Department (UFD) previously confirmed to PEOPLE.

Marrow told GMA it wasn't until she heard Henry calling her name that she realized where he was — a moment she said seemed like a complete blur.

"I just know that he was there and then he was gone," said the mom, who explained that she then called 911 before the water began to pull Henry down the tunnel and out of her sight.

"I jumped in because he had now gone down the pipe," Marrow recalled to GMA. "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," she went on. "I was crawling down to get him because it was too dark down the pipe."

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Marrow was eventually able to grab her son and proceeded to lift them both out of the manhole to safety.

By the time they made it back to the ground surface, officials with the Union Fire Department had arrived and were ready to treat the pair.

Luckily, neither had suffered physical injuries, but Scanio noted to PEOPLE that the boy may have ingested some sewer water. They were evaluated by Union EMS before being taken to a nearby hospital as a precaution.

Following the incident, Scanio told PEOPLE it is believed the manhole cover may have blown off during Hurricane Ida, which came through on Sept. 1.

He also noted that the Union County Police and Union County Department of Public Works (DPW) were going to check the manholes in the park and at other locations within Union Township to ensure none were missing their covers.

Speaking to GMA, Marrow said she hopes city officials will learn from her incident to prevent something similar from happening again.

"I'd like to see cones, maybe a different color, maybe flags," she explained to the outlet.

In the time since that terrifying day, Marrow's son has been recovering and has undergone several tests and treatments at the hospital, according to GMA.

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