It was a smoldering hot day! The kind of heat that will take your breath away. But, it wasn’t the heat that took the breathe of life from our daughter, it was the water.
It was July 7, 2012, but I remember this day as clearly as if it were yesterday. Our Annual Fourth of July Neighborhood Celebration had been underway for several hours. My husband and I and our three little girls had spent most of the morning at the pool with friends and neighbors laughing, swimming, and playing. It started out as one of the best days we had all summer, but things quickly turned into one of the scariest days of our lives.
When the heat had drained the energy out of this new mom and our 6 week old baby, I had gone back home to put her down for a nap while the rest of the family stayed to play. Then it happened. A phone call that no mother ever wants to receive:
“Tiffoni…” Wait…this is my husband’s phone calling me, why is a strange woman on the other end? “You need to get down here now! Your daughter just drowned!”
What? Wait…what did she just say???
In a shocked and confused state of mind, I dropped the phone and proceeded to run down the road as fast as I could with legs that had forgotten their function.
When I arrived at the pool gates, there were paramedics, firefighters, and a group of bystanders watching as my 3 year old daughter was on a stretcher being transferred into an ambulance. But, she was conscious. She was ALIVE!!! I was blessed by the fact that I did not witness our little girl being rescued from the pool as her lifeless, little body was limp, blue and swollen. I saw her after her angel (who was dressed in a swimsuit and lives down the street), saved her and restored her by breathing life back into her lungs that had filled with water. The next 24 hours were scary. We were told by doctors that things looked OK, but they could not guarantee that she would make it through the night. And if she did, the extent of the damage could not yet be determined.
In the days that followed, family, friends, churches, neighbors, and strangers were all called upon to pray for our little girl. That is all we could do at that point. But that is all we needed to do. Prayer is powerful! Our prayers were answered and we have a healthy, happy, energetic 7 year old who loves to tell her “miracle story”. She doesn’t think it is sad or scary; she thinks it is amazing! And as we look back upon this day, we are able to see how amazing God is.
“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 NIV
I share our story with hopes that it might save a life this summer. Please pay close attention to children around water. We have a happy ending to our story, but there are so many families whose ending is very different. Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 5. We never thought something like this would happen to our family. It happened in less than a minute and there were several adults within 10 feet of her that did not notice what was going on. The water can be fun, but can also be very dangerous. Please let our story serve as a reminder of how fragile life really is.
Written by: Tiffoni Brown