PPCD Members: Texas
Jenny Bennett is a mother of 4 and a Registered Nurse in the Houston Area. In the summer of 2016, her 18 month old son drowned in their home backyard pool. Jenny has since discovered many mistakes they had made; lack of barriers, lack of alarms, and the use of a dog door. Some were not so obvious, like fun parent child swim lessons and the inappropriate use of floatation devices (specifically puddle jumpers). The Bennett family wants to help educate others of these dangers and prevent the devastation of childhood drownings from happening to any other family. Jenny is currently assisting her hospital's trauma department with performance improvement and injury prevention; making drowning prevention a big initiative for 2019. Her family has also opened a chapter of Swim Safe Forever in the Houston area to provide survival swimming lesson scholarships to families in need.
Jane Garner- Member PPCD
My name is Jane Garner and we lost our little boy, Jaylen, to a drowning in my sisters backyard pool. September 21, 2013 will always be the worst day of my life!! We were celebrating Jaylen’s 2nd Birthday, which was September 25, but never got to have with him. What was suppose to be a fun, happy day, turned out to be a life long nightmare that we can never escape. He was only out of our sight for a minute and that was all it took. One minute that has changed our lives forever.
Jaylen absolutely loved the water! We were a water family. He swam in my sisters pool regularly, but we were naive. Naive to not taking proper precautions in having swim lessons. We had planned to get Jaylen in lessons the following month, but we were too late. He was comfortable in the water, but had always swam with puddle jumpers. They were a security, or so we thought, until he jumped in without them, only to not know how to swim. We were outside with him, backs turned for only seconds. Those few seconds changed everything! No splash, no noise, no fighting in the water...drowning is silent!
I share our story in hopes that other families will not have to live with the same life sentence that we have been given. We never thought it could or would happen to us, but I am living proof that it can! I live everyday left to wonder “what if” or “if only”. Take precautions! Be proactive and let’s stop childhood drowning!
I have been happily married to my high school love Victor for 32 years! We have two amazing adult children, daughter Roxanne and her husband Alex, and son Nolan.
When my season came to an end of raising our children, it became very clear that ISR was the perfect career fit, for my love & passion for children, water, and safety.
I have had the privilege of being a certified ISR instructor for the past three and a half years serving the amazing families of Baytown, Sugarland, Spring, and Humble area of Texas.
Doing my part.... "not one more child drowns."
My name is Michael Vivian, I am a husband and a father of two.
I have experienced, as close as anyone dare get, to losing their child from drowning, and that in itself, has given me the drive to do what I can to educate other parents on the dangers of water, and the importance of CPR and water safety training.
Hello, my name is Bonnie Cannon and I’m the proud owner of Life Saver Survival Swim School. My husband, children, and I live in Houston, Texas. I am a wife of 25 years and proud mother of four wonderful children. I have been a certified swim instructor since 2006 and have taught over a thousand children, throughout Texas and Florida, independent swimming and floating skills. Being an instructor and helping children through their aquatic journeys has been the most fulfilling experience of my life. Since moving to Houston in 2009, I have been able to over 2600 children, and educate the community, about the importance of aquatic safety and layers of protection for your children.
My name is Wayne Cannon and I'm the owner and manager of Life Saver Of Houston. In 2013 I started researching all of the removable pool fence manufacturers in the marketplace. I knew that if I got into that line of work that I only wanted to sell the best. Cost was important, but the quality of construction and the fence's contribution towards safety was most important.
After month's of research, I narrowed the list of manufacturers down to one, Life Saver pool fence. They had the best removable pool fence on the market and I wanted to be their Houston distributor.
This prevention platform is near and dear to my heart due to a family I admire very much being impacted with the loss of their own child due to drowning. I have had my own children fall into pools as infant and had to either jump in after them or have a family member pull them out of the pool. In that moment you panic and I can not fathom a tragic ending to this situation. So, I wanted to get involved with people I care about to prevent the loss of anymore children and now living in Texas where everyone has a pool I feel like there's no better time than now to start a conversation about how to prevent infant and toddler drowning.
Hi my name is Candice Brown I am a single mother of two. My son Mayson whom I lost to drowning from his maternal grandmother neighbor's backyard pool January 5,2018 at age 3 and my daughter whom is here with me. I one time never thought that it would be me to have lost a child to drowning. Their are numerous of ways drowning can be prevented. My part of being in This group is I want to help and teach families on to have NOT ONE MORE CHILD DROWNING!
I am the surviving parent of a baby that drowned. Our Tristan got outside on Good Friday March 25, 2016 and died in our pool.
I have created Miss Tristan Foundation, www.misstristan.org so that we can provide water safety training to kindergarten aged children in the schools in the San Antonio Catholic School system
Hello, my name is Cory Brockelman. I am a Texan born and raised, and currently live in Keller, Texas. I am married to a wonderful man and a stay at home mom with 3 boys ages 12, 9, and 18 months. In August of 2018 we had a near drowning experience with our 18 month old. He was brought back to life using CPR and it was a very traumatic day for all of us. We received a second chance by the grace of God so I do not want to let this experience go to waste. I am 100% dedicated in this mission and am overjoyed to see the difference we are going to make together in raising awareness in preventing childhood drownings.
In May of 2005 my family and I suffered a major loss. The loss of my daughter Bria, my daughter was one of 33 kids that drowned in the summer of 2005 Memorial Day weekend. Watching the news day in and day out I saw how frequently drowning occurred and I felt the need to do something about these preventable deaths.
In 2007, two years after the loss of my daughter Bria, I was searching the Internet trying to find organizations that I could team up with to work on preventing drowning. I came across Safe Kids Worldwide. I reached out to them to see how they could help me with my search. Not long after that I received a call from Mary Frost and Stephanie Adams. They invited me to a media event to share my story about my daughter Bria. I was hesitant at first but I realized this would be a great way for me to reach families. In 2008, I officially started Bria’s House. Safe Kids Greater Houston welcomed me with open arms. This summer we have helped 14 families and 40 kids with swimming lessons. and counting. We are now offering swim lessons year round with FINS(FUN IN SWIMMING). www.briashouse.net
I am a born and raised Texan spending most of my life in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. I have 4 children and an amazing husband who has supported my many career changes until I found the perfect one. I began my career life as a high school biology teacher, moved on to working in a pediatric hospital and becoming a registered nurse. I spent most of my nursing career in the Pediatric Cardiac ICU. While I loved my time there and the many sweet families I had the honor of taking care of, that world is emotionally draining. I had to find something new. I became an ISR instructor.
I clearly love being with kids as my entire adult life has centered around working with them, and I have 4 of my own. As an ISR instructor, I am able to still work with children and have an impact. In this way, I can save lives proactively rather than reactively as I was in the hospital setting. I can also still have beautiful relationships with kids and their families. My five years as an Instructor has been amazing thus far and I am looking forward to many more. In October of 2018 I was accepted to become a Master Instructor with ISR. This will allow me to teach new instructors and further our reach and mission of Not One More Child Drowns.
Colt Catalina was born on January 18, 2008 to the parents of John and Natalie and little brother to Mackenzie and Presley. He was a vibrant toddler, the love of everyone who knew him, and the apple of his mother's eye. Sunday, March 21, 2010, marks the day our hearts were shattered and our lives were forever changed. Colt Catalina was just 2 years old when he tragically drowned while in the care of a relative. Not a day goes by that we don’t miss him-everything about him. He is terribly and painfully missed...a pain that does not dull...never goes away. We love and miss him more than the world can possibly understand.
“In our hearts, forever our angel, Colt Walker Catalina, January 18, 2008-March 21, 2010.”
The Colt Catalina Foundation is to raise awareness for Drowning Prevention & Child Safety. One of the foundations main missions is to provide infant survival swim lesson scholarships to those in financial need. Our hope is that no other family has to go through the unimaginable pain his family has suffered.
My name is Robyn Miller and I am mother of four young boys. I have been teaching CPR / First aid for 6 years, and have a passion for helping aid others with skills to save lives.
I am a Nationally Certified ISR Instructor and Owner of Infant Swim Cypress in Cypress, Texas. Growing up, I was in the water constantly! I swam competitively and helped lead my high school water polo team to a top-ten finish in the state of Texas. After college, I started a career as a veterinarian technician administering chemotherapy to animals and managing clinical trials for new methods of treatment. In 2007, I met an amazing gentleman who became my best friend & is now my husband.
In 2010, I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus along with a several other chronic Illnesses. Shortly after my diagnosis I decided to leave my career and focus on my health. I became an advocate for the Lupus Foundation of America, educating other about Lupus while spreading awareness and participating in the Walk to End Lupus Now 5k. My team and I have raised more than $10,000 to support Lupus research.
Since hurricane Harvey, I have volunteered countless hours helping animals affected by the flooding. Working with Cypress-area veterinarians, I helped establish a temporary shelter and was successful reuniting pets with their owners or finding new homes for those that were abandoned. I’ll continue to volunteer since there will always be animals in need.
Our family included my husband and I, and we have 4 furry kids... 2 Chihuahuas, a Tonkinese cat, & a Juliana pig. We thought we were complete and then in early 2017, we welcomed a precious baby girl into our lives. Before she was born, we knew we would enroll her in ISR classes. During her classes, I saw other babies and young children that are unable to swim; however, they could save themselves. After the second week of her class I submitted my application to become an ISR Instructor. I finally found my way back to water.
My hope is to reach children before they reach the water so that "Not One More Child Drowns." I’m both excited and privileged to be able to bring ISR Self-Rescue to Cypress & surrounding communities!
Kathleen McMordie- Member PPCD
I am Kathleen McMordie, RN, founder of the Texas Swim Academy. In my previous career, I was an ICU Nurse in Austin. I have seen firsthand the devastation that occurs when a family loses their child to drowning. This made me fearful for my own children and their aquatic safety. I quickly enrolled my three young children in a survival swim program and loved seeing their successes.
After years of watching my children and the processes of learning to swim and float, in 2004, I became an Infant Aquatic Instructor. My clientele grew rapidly and in 2012, my husband and I opened the Texas Swim Academy, in Katy. In 2015, I was a founding member of the Survival Swim Development Network. Our mission is to train Survival Swim Instructors throughout the world.
At Texas Swim Academy, we use a gentle approach and teach to the individual child. We are well known for helping babies and children learn the swim and float survival skills in weeks, not years. We have also done extensive training in teaching children with special abilities to swim and float. It is my desire to continue to educate parents to expect more from their swim lessons. Quality matters when your child’s safety is at risk.
My name is Kim Emery. I own and operate a boutique swim facility providing specialty swim classes from Infant Aquatic Survival through Adult. All classes are one on one private lessons enabling the student to learn to their full potential. I am certified through Infant Aquatic Survival, American Red Cross, Aquatic Exercise Association, NRPA and trained with Starfish Aquatics. I plan to train in January at Float 4 Life at their national training center in Lincoln, NE. I have over 40 years’ experience in the Aquatics Field, as well as having served as Aquatics Manager for over 19 years at one facility. My goal is to educate children and parents about water safety and drowning prevention in as many places and ways I can get the message out.
August 14, 2007, business as usual for me, as a stay at home mom of 4 kids under the age of 5. I had a 4 year old, 3 year old and 14 month old twins. I was getting the twins bathed and ready for bedtime, and also trying to cook dinner while my husband was headed home from work. I put the twins into the tub and ran to the kitchen to turn over the pork chops. My son then asked me a few questions and I got distracted. After about 4 minutes, I returned to the bathroom to find my daughter, Mallory under the water, lifeless.
I was just gone a few minutes. Mallory could walk, crawl and sit unassisted. My life forever changed in this moment. After repeated attempts at CPR and first responders working on her for over an hour, there was nothing they could do. She was pronounced dead. My only, precious daughter. How could this be happening to me! Why me! I considered myself a great mom that was very diligent with their safety. Now I was a statistic. People judged me....."why would you leave the room? I would never do that!". This is what I have heard through the years.
Two years later, we were blessed with another baby girl and someone informed me of ISR swim lessons. I put my daughter through the program and I KNEW this is what I wanted to do. Currently, I am a master instructor with ISR, teaching now 7 years, and have a hugely successful business. I know in my heart, if Mallory had the skills to rollback and float, she would still be here today. My mission is for no other parent or family to feel the pain and guilt that I live with everyday.
Brooke Mernaugh- Member PPCD
Hi!! My name is Brooke Mernaugh, and I am the proud owner of “Aquatic Kids Survival Swim,” in Corpus Christi, Texas. I have a passion for educating/equipping not only children, but everyone, with life saving skills in the water! Living along the coast of Texas, I have a special love for the water. I strive to spread education, precautionary measurements, and vital layers of protection, so we may safely enjoy the waters around us!