Mother of child who drowned writes heartbreaking warning to other parents
A family vacation is supposed to be a joyous and fun occasion, but for one family, it ended in tragedy.
Nicole Hughes and her family were on vacation when her three-year-old son drowned. Taking to a blog titled "Scary Mommy," Nicole wrote a post in which she outlined what happened that fateful day.
"We were never supposed to leave our beach vacation early to plan a funeral for our 3-year-old son. And, yet, within the course of one week, we had driven to the beach, returned without him, and held his funeral," she wrote in her post.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of death in children aged one - four and second leading cause of death in kids aged one - 14.
Hughes' son, Levi, Drowned in June while they were vacationing in Alabama. In can take less than one minute for a child of his age to drown, something which she now knows all too well.
Levi had sat down for dinner on June 10 and took off his floaties that he had been wearing for the day. Nicole left her son while she went to the kitchen to clean up and stepped onto the balcony that overlooked the pool.
As she glanced down, she screamed at what she saw.
"It happened so quickly. I don’t know how Levi got away from us as we were cleaning up from dinner, or what lured him to go outside alone," Hughes wrote.
"I was the one who found him, face down, in the deep end. Just moments before this horrific discovery, I split a brownie with him. I still had the other half of the brownie in my mouth when I jumped into the pool to grab my son. Mere moments, seconds."
There were six physicians on the trip, including Lisa's husband. Despite their best attempts at CPR, Levi could not be saved and sadly passed away.
"Why is my mom-brain filled with internal debates about screen time, organic fruit, and sunscreen free of oxybenzone?"Hughes questioned.
"I still cut my 9-year-old’s grapes. I buy DHA milk. I worry that the hours of YouTube my kids watch will prevent them from being functioning adults one day.
"These are the topics that are pushed in my direction, the worries that I have grasped onto as I navigate parenting.
"Well, the unfortunate irony here is that I had taken the iPhone away from my son not too long before he slipped away from us.
"I sure wish I had cared a little less about screen time that night."
Since Levi's death, Hughes has channelled her grief and anger into action. She has now created the non-profit called Levi's Legacy and hopes to eradicate child drowning.
Nicole is hoping that she can help more parents be vigilant when it comes to their child being near water and has created the Water Guardian Tag that comes with a lanyard and is meant to be worn around the neck as a reminder of who is responsible for the child.
"I can't sit here for the rest of summer and read news story after news story about other children drowning," she told the Tennessean. "I can't bring Levi back, but I can sure as hell try to save someone else's baby."
It's a tragic loss of a young life and Nicole deserves credit for channelling her emotions into action.