Judah Brown Project info@judahbrownproject.org

From Carey Pardee

Dear Judy,

We live in Lafayette and our property is quite large, beautifully landscaped with a gorgeous water feature the kids love to splash around in during the summer. The pond, surrounded by rocks, drops to a depth of 4.5 feet.

Toddler floating on back in pool

May 18th 2007 – a warm sunny day. I was home with my two young daughters doing yard work. Saxon, my 16 month old, had just completed her 5th week of lessons with Cynthia, but had yet to practice swimming in clothes. She and Stori, my 4 year old, were playing on a large trampoline located next to the pond, while I was gardening. My back was turned pulling weeds in an adjacent garden when I heard Stori call for me. She said “mommy, mommy, Saxon needs you” I turned around to see Stori, standing by the water, but Saxon was nowhere in sight. My mouth went dry, and my heart sank as I envisioned Saxon facedown at the bottom of the pond. I remember running about eight “Incredible Hulk” steps with no feeling in my legs. The pond came into view, and there was Saxon, not submerged on the bottom, but floating on her back on the surface of the water She was wearing overalls with a long sleeve shirt underneath. Her breathing was very relaxed, considering the water temperature was 58 degrees. I felt calm as I made my way to where she was floating. I was so relieved; I cheered her, as I laid down at the edge of the water. I continued to tell her what a great swimmer she was as I gently placed my hands under her head, re-enforcing her confidence in the floating technique she had been learning during her swim lessons. I was surprisingly very composed, and helped her float over to the side and then encouraged her to flip over and grab the edge, where I grasped her little hands and pulled her wet body out. During the entire episode, she never cried, never even made a peep. I let her run around the sunny yard in her wet clothes and diaper for a few minutes while I regained the strength in my legs to actually take her inside to get fresh clothes and digest what had just happened. According to Stori, “Saxon fell in the water face first and rolled over to float.” It was pretty amazing!

Water safety has always been one of my greatest priorities, and all three of my kids have taken lessons at Infant Aquatics in Boulder I have always felt that educating children to be safe and respectful around water is paramount, because you never know when something like this might happen. Thank you over and over and over again Infant Aquatic Survival Team!

Originally published at https://infantaquatics.com/baby-swimming-lessons/documented-survival-stories . Used with Permission