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Survival Sunday Story: "I turned my back..."

Kristyn, mom of a precious little boy, wants to share her story. She wants to bring awareness to drowning, how fast it can happen and that it could happen to anyone. It is estimated that for every drowning fatality, there are 5 additional children hospitalized for a drowning accident. Please read her story:

“I have a now 3-year-old lil’ boy as of January. In August of last year, we almost lost him. Still to this day, I still struggle with the nightmares, the “what ifs”, and reliving the moment when I walked into my father’s house.

I turned my back on my son while our 10-year-old was playing in the pool with her friend. He never showed any interest in the pool. We were out there every day and he only liked playing with his toys on the patio. My guard was totally down, until that day. I heard my daughter screaming for me. I ran to her. My son’s lifeless body in her hands.

She said, ‘he fell’. I said ‘where?’ thinking he fell and hit his head or something. The pool didn’t even cross my mind. He has never gone near it. She said, ‘in the pool.’ I started screaming ‘call 911!’ I laid him down. I was getting ready to start CPR while dispatch began to talk me through it. Right before I started, he began grasping for air. Dispatch told me to tell her every time he took a breath and to put my hand under his neck and lift it slightly with my fingers to help open his airway.

He then started taking breaths more frequently and he started crying, coughing up the water. The paramedics came and first thing they said to me was that him crying was the best thing that he could be doing right now. I was balling, saying ‘I’m sorry’ over and over to my lil boy. It was 30 seconds; that’s all it took for me to almost lose him.

We stayed in the hospital overnight so they could monitor him closely. They slowly took him off the oxygen to see how he would do without it.

Reading the stories of the many other families who have lost their babies to drowning, or have life long disabilities, makes me wonder why I struggle with this memory so bad. We are lucky he is here, healthy, growing up and as wild as ever. The guilt, ‘what ifs’, and memories of that day have impacted me more days than not after this accident. Forgiving myself seems impossible.

Chase just turned 3. He finished his survival self-rescue lessons in October of last year and just finished his refresher lesson in February. I wish there was more awareness out there about drowning prevention. I wish people weren’t scared off by the prices of the lessons like we were when I first investigated them when he was a few months old.”

Kristyn still struggles with memories from that frightful day where she almost lost her child. We share these stories in hope that you will learn from them and make the necessary changes to prevent your children from drowning. This mother wants everyone to know that survival self-rescue swimming lessons are worth the price. If you cannot afford these lessons, please reach out, as we can help you find a nonprofit organization to help you financially.

In additional to our educational blogs and materials, Parents Preventing Childhood Drowning is striving to become a national reference for parents and pediatricians to find resources in their area. Click here to find an organization that provides scholarships for survival swimming lessons.

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