That Time When OBB Got Super Serious…

This is the first in a series of posts about water safety. To read the post I wrote 1 1/2 years after the accident, click here. To learn more about water safety, check out this post.

I’ve literally spent the last few days agonizing about whether or not I should write this post for a number of reasons. I don’t want to make things weird between us. I feel like I’ve told this story over and over again and it feels weird to tell it again. I feel like I’m opening up a huge facet of my private life by sharing this story. I want to share information but not sound like an encyclopedia, and I want to make things personal but not have it sound like a bad Lifetime movie. So bear with me here.

I’ve gotta warn you guys that I can totally see how this can be a hard story to read, and that it might get under your skin. And I totally understand if you want to stop reading. But. I think what I have to share is important. I promise, because it’s something so intensely personal, I wouldn’t be sharing it if I didn’t think that it was important. I feel like if what I have to say can prevent even one accident like we had, it will be worth it.

I also ask that if you have something potentially unkind to say, to think really, really hard before you post it (and I subsequently delete it–just warning you now). I promise, there is nothing you can say to a parent in this situation that they haven’t already said to themselves.

Ready? Whew.

So as you guys know, Sara and I have been traveling a lot lately (and we just came back from our last trip! Woo-hoo!) We generally try to leave as late in the week as possible and come back on Sunday so we can be away from our families as little as possible, but it still takes its toll on everyone.

Last weekend, our event was in Salt Lake City and Sara had been planning on bringing her whole family. Through a series of kind of crazy and unusual circumstances (unexpected days off school, obscenely cheap airfare, unused frequent flier miles, a trip my dad and husband planned on taking together), we decided to bring our whole family as well. Sara’s and my kids completely adore each other and it was a chance for all of us to hang out for a few extra days and take a little mini vacation.

The night we got in, I was getting the kids ready for bed when Sara invited us to go swimming with them. I hadn’t brought my swimsuit and I didn’t really want to bring the baby in the water, but our kids were dying to see each other and hey, we were on a vacation. My kids have had a few summers’ worth of swimming lessons and can swim the length of the pool, so I wasn’t worried about playing around in the shallow end.

Here’s the thing. When it comes to water, bad things can happen quickly, and, unlike you see in TV and movies, those things are quiet. Here’s a fabulous article that talks about what drowning actually looks like and it’s something everyone should read and pass around to anyone who spends any time around water.

In our case, my oldest son was bouncing in an area where he could easily reach. And he did what anyone who’s spent a reasonable amount of time in a swimming pool has done–he landed where the pool started to slope. And it caught him off guard, and all it took was a gulp of water instead of air.

One of the reasons why I wanted to post this sooner rather than later was because KSL News in Salt Lake City did a story (you can read the whole thing here) on the teenage boy who pulled my son out of the water and I wanted to include it before the story and video are unavailable, largely because it spares me from personally having to share the harder details.

We’re not exactly sure how long he was underwater, but by piecing all the stories together and the fact that we were right there, it could have been anywhere from 1-3 minutes, but however long it was long enough to stop his heart and turn his skin blue. We really, truly could have lost him (and I thought we had).

After Greg pulled Clark out of the water, Sara’s husband gave him CPR and was able to revive him. He was rushed in an ambulance to Primary Children’s Medical Center where he spent a few hours in the ER and then was admitted to the PICU because he was having a hard time staying awake and his breathing was labored. Aside from the fact that hearing “ICU” is totally terrifying, it was really awful because I couldn’t stay with him (my husband did) because I had a nursing baby who wasnt allowed and there was no way for anyone else to feed him.

So I headed back to an empty hotel room quite literally in the middle of the night. And to say it sucked is the understatement of the century.

The next morning, he was much better and I was able to leave the baby with my husband and spend the morning with Clark in the ICU. They kept him long enough to get out of the danger zone and he left the hospital the day after the accident super tired with a cough, no appetite, and some antibiotics, but was otherwise completely fine (read: no brain damage).

In terms of facts and figures, I strongly encourage everyone to read the article I talked about earlier (and here it is again so you don’t have to go hunting for it). But I want to share, as a mom, some things to think about.

Kids aren’t as mature as we think they are. I think it’s easy to forget that bigger kids (like in the 6-10 range) are still pretty little kids, especially when you have younger kids in the mix. You’re used to relying on them to be mature and responsible, but in reality, they’re not as mature and responsible as we sometimes give them credit for. Additionally, Clark is my super-cautious rule-following kid; if I had to peg someone for a serious accident, it would have been my daughter.

Swim lessons (or floaties, or noodles, or life vests, or anything inflatable, or the presence of a lifeguard) are not a substitute for close supervision. I was there, keeping an eye on things, checking the pool, but I had a baby in my arms and friends I hadn’t seen in a long time and it had been a long day. Things literally happen in seconds and in the time it takes to run to the bathroom, have a serious phone conversation, deal with a fussy baby, listen to a child’s story, watch another kid jump off a diving board, or answer a text, it could be too late.

Supervision is not a substitute for excellent swimming skills. Like I said earlier, my kids have taken swimming lessons and Clark especially is a good little swimmer, but I think sometimes we forget that they don’t have the life experience necessary to not freak out if something catches them off guard. We’ve talked about the accident with him and told him he doesn’t need to get back in the pool tomorrow, or next week, or next month, but he does eventually need to continue with swim lessons and feeling comfortable in the pool.

Everyone should learn CPR. I don’t know what we would have done if Sara’s husband hadn’t been there that night. If I was hiring a babysitter and one of them was CPR-certified and the other one wasn’t, I’d most likely hire the CPR-certified babysitter, and yet I’ve been a mom for nearly 8 years and I haven’t had more than a brief overview of CPR a time or two as a teenager. I’m signing up for a CPR certification course ASAP so I never find myself in a situation where I couldn’t help someone who needed CPR. You can register for Red Cross classes here and even in my tiny community, there are a gazillion options available.

Don’t swim when you’re tired. My kids had been up late the night before in anticipation for our trip, then we’d been flying all day. It was an hour later for them than what the clock said and they were up way past their bedtime. Bad idea.

Don’t swim alone. That’s more for adults and teenagers, but even good, experienced swimmers can underestimate how close they are to a pool wall and hit their head or experience any number of other little accidents that normally wouldn’t be a big deal, but when you’re dealing with water, they become a big deal.

We all think it’s not going to happen to us. It’s so hard to strike a balance between being neurotic and thinking things aren’t going to happen to us; neither one is a good thing. Car accidents happen to bad drivers and water accidents happen to neglectful parents. Except that they don’t…they can happen to anyone. This accident has been a wake-up call for safety in all areas of my life, not to a point where I’m crazy, but it’s just reminded me that there are easy things I can do to make things safer: Water safety, locking doors, unplugging appliances, using car seats and boosters properly, not running the dryer when I’m not at home or while we’re sleeping, making sure our fire and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly, and ignoring the fact that my text alert has beeped 6 times in 2 minutes while I’m driving. You don’t have to live in fear, but a little caution goes a long way.

Thankfully, within 48 hours, he was nearly his old little self. Here’s a picture of Clark (the one with Perry the Platypus) and Sara’s little boy Tyler two nights after it happened.

and all the OBB kiddos (minus Baby Will)…

As for us, we’re doing fine. Clark had a little freak-out the night he was discharged from the hospital, but he seems to be handling it really well. Generally, I’m good, although I’ve been busy. Sometimes in a quiet moment, those scary images and “what if” thoughts creep into my head, and sometimes they completely blindside me when I’m out and about and they kind of take my breath away. I’m just so very grateful to all the people who happened to be there that night–Eric (Sara’s husband), Greg (the awesome teenager), Nate (who helped Eric), Sara (who kept me from completely and totally losing it and who drove me to and from the hospital a few times in the middle of the night), the nice ladies who held Will, the paramedics, ER staff, and Jen the ICU nurse who Clark is completely enamored with.

For those of you little detectives that figured out what happened after I posted last week and have sent such sweet comments, emails, thoughts, and prayers, I appreciate them so much. Thank you guys from the bottom of my heart for being such fabulous, supportive blog readers.Thank you for sticking with me through such a heavy blog post! I hope sharing our experiences will help keep your families and loved ones safe!

564 comments

  1. Well no rude comments here. Even the best of moms can’t watch their children every second. Thank you for sharing. Hopefully it can help someone else. So happy all tuned out ok. 🙂

  2. Thanks for posting your story. Hugs to you and your family. I’m so happy things worked out the way they did. Clark is darling. 🙂

  3. Been through an eerily similar situation myself, and I understand completley what you are saying. Thanks for posting, and I’m glad it didn’t turn out worse. happy he is well.

  4. I’m so sorry you had to go through something so frightening. Nothing can be worse than watching your child suffer — or fearing for their life. This is a good reminder to all of us to keep our guard up. Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m glad that everything worked out okay for you!

  5. Wow! I’m so sorry you all had to experience such trauma, but very grateful you’re all safe and sound! I’ll be praying peace for your mind! I can’t even imagine the scenarios and fears of a mom, but will soon (in 7 months) and I’m so thankful for the wonderful women who embrace and understand the fact that “We’re all human” and sometimes it does take a village. =) I’m encouraged by your bravery in sharing. Thanks!

  6. Thank you so much for sharing this. I saw the story on the news and had no idea it was your son. That is so scary, but I’m very happy he is okay. I think most parents will have at least one of those terrifying experiences where you realize you really could have lost a precious child. We’ve had a few close calls with our kids that have kept me awake at nights feeling literally sick. It totally shakes you and it is so scary. ACCIDENTS are just that–ACCIDENTS–and no indicators of good or bad parenting. Thanks for putting yourself out there and sharing something so close to your heart. We love you!

  7. Kate,
    I do not know you, but I just listened to you speak in Phoenix this weekend. I am a mom and a grandma. There is nothing as terrifying as experiencing something happen to one of your children that could have been tragic. PLEASE know that you are a good mom. I could feel it when you spoke. Know that everything you shared I am forwarding to my daughter. No judgement from me… I wish I could give you a hug. My prayers tonight will include you… your family… and Clark.

    P.S. I loved your presentation… love your blog… love your cookbooks. Molly~

  8. Kate,
    Thank you for sharing, you have been very brave. I am a reader from Spain, I have an almost 5 months baby and have already pass through the frightening experience of ICU just three days after his birth.
    Things will hopefully get back to normal in a few days and Clark will forget the whole situation.
    So happy you are all well!! Best wishes! Raquel

  9. Wow! What a horribly frightening experience for all of you! I’m so glad Clark is okay and you were so blessed to have the right people there at the right time. You were all watched over. And thank you for your courage and strength in telling your story. That’s also not an easy thing to do, but we are ask so glad you did. You shared some very valuable lessons we can all learn from. Mostly, thank you for being you. For sharing your wonderful culinary talents with us (for which my family is very grateful for!) and being so open, honest, vulnerable, funny and entertaining on your blog. This blog isn’t just about your delicious gods, but it’s about yours and Sarah’s lives and we as readers have come to love you and think I’d you as family.

  10. I saw the story of the teenager pulling a child from the pool on ksl.com but of course had no idea that was your family. What a difficult, horrifying experience. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so very glad that your darling Clark is okay. Thank you for the reminders about knowing CPR and being careful with our kids (my oldest is 9.5 and I do expect more from him than I should sometimes). So happy all is well.

  11. That is so, so scary. You’re right; it can happen in a moment. Even when I don’t have any distractions, I still find myself not paying close attention to my kiddos while they’re swimming, but I will now. Thank you for sharing your story.

  12. All I can say is prayers and blessings for all of you. I think I understand why you had to write this post… you and Sara are public figures and share many parts of your life… and this was a major incident and to not share it would have been less than authentic. So, thank you for your courage in opening yourself up.
    You remind me of Proverbs 31: Strength and dignity are her clothing.

    Blessings, Catherine

    Rev. Catherine MacDonald
    United Memorial Church
    United Church of Canada
    Halifax, NS
    Canada

    1. Another vote for Catherine’s comment! It is hard to talk about something really difficult, but the upside to something terrifying like this happening is that the rest of us can be a little be sober for a moment and become more watchful. Thank you for sharing, and phew! I was scared for a minute–so glad Clark is okay.

  13. I’m so sorry you had to go through that but so very grateful all is well! I’ve had a close call myself (different circumstances) and it makes a person realize how many things could happen and how even a few seconds can matter. Thanks for your tips – hug those kids extra close and thanks for being brave enough to share and help others.

  14. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. What a blessing that your Clark is OK and that everything worked out well. Trials are there to refine us, but it stinks anyway, huh? Good luck and God bless.

  15. Kate, I can’t even imagine the horror you have been feeling! Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us to be more cautious–even now that my children are almost grown and they have to walk out of my house and make their own choices, I still worry! We can’t protect our children 100% of the time, but we can teach them and pray for them!

  16. So glad to see that your little boy is okay. What a frightening experience! Your tips at the end are definitely good reminders for all of us parents.

  17. How awful when mom nightmares come true. My only child, a nearly 2 year old, burned his hand this week on the lawnmower and it totally freaked me out. I like what you said about striking the balance between being neurotic and saying it couldn’t happen to me. We would be such happier moms if we could find that balance!

  18. I had a drowning incident as a child in my own backyard pool. Although I was a decent swimmer, a friend of my parents threw me into the pool while I was wrapped in my towel. All the other adults were distracted and no one noticed me. With moments to spare I was able to get out of the towel.

    Rest assured I got over my fear of the pool after that. Your story is a great reminder of how fast things can happy. thank you for your bravery to share your story.

  19. Wow, what a frightening story you just shared. I am glad Clark and hopefully the rest of your family is recovering well. My daughter is a lifeguard and it’s hard keeping up with everyone and everything going on in a pool. Just a reminder though, the water wings that just fit on a child’s arms are not safe. A child can flip over and not flip back up. They need to be the wings that also have the vest. On that note, remember little people are great houdinis when it comes to getting out of said vests. My daughter saw it happen time after time even with the most cautious and watchful parents.

  20. First off let me say as I was reading this (at work no less) tears welled up in my eyes. I can only imagine how hard this was for your and your family. Thank you for taking the time to write this and remind all of this how precious our kids are and how things can change in one split second. Thank God your sweet boy Clark is OK. My youngest daughter has recently completed a few months of swim lessons. I appreciate the reminder that does not mean I don’t have to watch her like a hawk. : )

  21. Bless your heart, Kate. You are a WONDERFUL mother and I appreciate the reminder that bad things can happen fast. How many times are we tempted to do things that would be easier but are borderline dangerous. I’m so grateful you did post this because you could potentially help someone prevent a disaster. I’m so glad your little boy is ok.
    Hugs from NH!
    Wendi (Reynolds -as in John’s sister from Logan) Bohn

  22. Oh, mama. I can’t think of any words to say to express what I want to express. I cannot imagine how horrific that would have been. I can’t even begin to imagine. Actually, I can begin to imagine and I know it would surpass my wildest nightmare. I am so very sorry. I can understand that you would have some judgment for yourself, but I wanted to share something with you.

    A dear friend of mine lost her 15yo son this summer to drowning. He was an accomplished swimmer, a wonderful and mature young man, was swimming in broad daylight in an place he swam in all the time, was accompanied by friends (with his parents close-by as well, actually), close to the dock, not under the influence of any substances, without any physical abnormalities, etc. There was absolutely no understandable reason why he would have gotten into any trouble in the water where he was, let alone drowned, but he did.

    The truth is that, as you know, even when we do our very, very best as parents and do everything right, awful things can and still happen. It is a very vulnerable position we are in as parents and it is not very comforting to think about sometimes.

    Thank you for sharing your story in such a courageous manner. It is an excellent reminder of water-safety for that age where we start to relax a bit and, perhaps, are not as on guard as we need to be.

    Christine

  23. As a former lifeguard and swim instructor, I agree 100% with your suggestions for parents watching children in and around water. I pulled more kids out of the pool than I care to think about where parents turned away for a split second. That is all that it takes.

  24. I live in the Phoenix area, where drownings are a (very unfortunate) part of every summer swimming season. We’re told over and over and over to watch our kids around water, but the fact is, it’s difficult to watch them EVERY SINGLE SECOND. Every mom has looked away for a SECOND and ended up with Sharpie on the living room wall, a box of cereal dumped on the floor, a kid lost in the crowd, etc. Don’t beat yourself up for being a “bad” parent. You’re not. Just thank God that your child is alive and well. We have a friend whose daughter wasn’t so lucky 🙁 Thanks for being brave enough to share your story — if your warning saves at least one child, it was worth the embarrassment of sharing it!

  25. Oh, a similar thing happened to us! We were staying in a hotel, getting the kids out the pool, when my youngest (3) just stepped back in on his own. My husband jumped in (fully clothed, down to his shoes) to get him out. I know, it can happen so fast. I still can’t stand to think about that day. So glad your little one is fine!

  26. Thank you for sharing your difficult story and for the huge reality check. You’ve put a face on (and brought it much closer to home) what could have been a potential awful situation. It could happen to anyone and at a moment’s notice.

  27. I’m so sorry for you, your son, and your whole family. Please don’t beat yourself up (it sounds like you are doing a fair bit of it from your post). We live in florida where water is everywhere. When multiple kids are in the pool or ocean, there is a whole lot of mommy look at me, our attention is diverted as we look at one child assuming the rest are fine. Most of the time it is, but I’ve seen what happened to your son, and it is so quiet, so no one knows. There is no thrashing that would draw attention like in the movies. It is not your fault. You are blessed by everyone that was there. Sending you a prayer of peace for those quiet reflective moments, and hope that despite this, you will still be able to find the joy of parenting…..not the fear.

  28. Oops, hit return before I meant to. The main point is exactly what you said – one minute is so fast! I was drying off and tending to the other kids, and never saw Spencer go in. And it’s so quiet. No splashing sounds. I so agree with you — water accidents happen in a split second, even to diligent parents.

  29. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m so sorry you and your family had to experience this and so glad your sweet boy is okay. I will definitely take your words to heart and share them with my family, as well.

  30. What a nightmare for your family. I am so, so glad everything turned out ok. It is a good reminder to all of us who are busy parents. Thank you for sharing your story, I know it wasn’t easy. Big hugs to your family.

  31. Oh, so so scary. I’m so grateful that your little guy is ok. Since becoming a mother, the scariest things in life are any harm or accident befalling on your children. It frightens me, a lot. So thank you for sharing, and giving the warning that anything really could happen in a situation that you feel is a safe one. It is always better to be on the side of caution. Scary. Glad your family is well.

  32. Thank you for sharing, Kate. All of us mothers need as much support, help, and reminders from each other as possible! I’m sure it wasn’t easy for you to share this when you and Clark are probably still terrified of pools, but sharing is probably going to save several lives. Thank you for being willing to put your story out there. God bless that wonderful Greg!!

  33. I’m so sorry this happened to you. We live in Arizona and know the dangers of water. I’ve always been the super paranoid mom about kids around water, to the point that when I take my kids swimming, I end up trying to keep eyes on everyone else’s kids. Thank you for sharing your story. I, too will be taking a CPR class very soon!

  34. Oh, bless you! I am so sorry such a terrifying event happened in your life. I have personally had a child (the same one) have a near-drowning experience three times, all in hotel pools. One time when he was around 2, he just fell in. The next time he was around 4 and he was RIGHT by my side, when all of a sudden he was suspended under the water and I had to drag him out. Then, when he was 8 he somehow propelled himself into the deep end and my other child shouted to alert me and I swam over and towed him out. So scary! (But not nearly as frightening as your situation, I know.) My point is, it can happen so easily, and especially in hotel pools because they often go deep abruptly. Please, don’t punish yourself! You are an amazing mom and these things just happen sometimes. I can tell you were being watched over by God! Thank you for sharing your important story with us.

  35. I’ve only been reading your blog for a few months, but I know that like many of your readers we all love you both and are happy to hear about the things going on in your lives (even the not so great things). I am so relieved that everything is okay. I’ll be a new mom in April and I truly appreciate the words of wisdom you shared. May those moments of fear and “what if” be replaced with peace and comfort that God loves his children and watches over all of us. Bless you both and your families.

  36. Who in the world would write a rude comment about this?!?

    Wow. Reading this gave me goosebumps… Not because of what happened to you (which totally sucks), but because of what happened on my end. I live in Salt Lake and when I heard this story on the new that night, it for some reason touched my desensitized heart and I immediately said a prayer for your family, specifically saying “and please bless the mother of this child to be comforted and not be filled with guilt and torment”… not knowing that the mother of this child was one of my favorite blog writers/cookbook authors. I really hope my prayer was somewhat answered and you haven’t been beating yourself up… Accidents happen, even to perfect people.

    I’m so glad you posted this. Maybe The Lord is using you as an instrument in His hands to prevent future incidents from occurring. I for one will be signing up to take a CPR class ASAP!

    God be with you and your cute family! Thank you for being such an amazing woman, for sharing your talents with the world, and making a difference! You are AMAZING!!!

  37. Thank you for posting such a personal story. All the info you included will help us all be better prepared for emergencies. I am so glad that your sweet little boy is okay! You guys are such an inspiration to me and my sisters, we absolutely love your website and feel like we know you.

  38. Thank you for sharing such a painful story, and for being willing to reach out. I am CPR certified and I pray often I never have to use it. I am happy to hear Clark is okay. God bless you and your family, Kate. And Sara’s, too. Thank you for being such a blessing in all of our lives.

  39. Oh my goodness, I am so glad that everything turned out OK! There is no judgement here, as it really can happen to anyone & I am just thankful for your family that there was such great help around. Many hugs to everyone in your family & especially Clark.

  40. Thank you. We have a pool in our back yard and i understand you words (have repeated them myself many times) completely. Thank you for sharing this story. Hopefully it will resonate with people and help them-I know it has me. I have committed to a CPR class after reading of your experience last week, via Sara. I am a great swimmer, but then what? Thank you and best wishes to you all (especially Clark).

  41. Thank you for sharing. I can’t imagine what you must have gone through seeing your baby like that. You’re right, it’s easy to get comfortable with the level of vigilance that has worked so far but that level of vigilance, when something unexpected happens, could be not nearly enough vigilance to make it through. I’m so so glad that your son is okay.

  42. Even the MOST AMAZING moms, can’t be in 20 places at once. This is a VERY scary story and I am happy you have shared it. I wanted to add something to it though…
    I have a VERY close friend whose daughter had been swimming all day but kept getting water in her mouth over and over while swimming, which caused her daughter to cough up lots of water. My friend spent the entire night watching her childs chest rise and fall because she was a nurse and earlier in the week learned from a patient who came into her care, that you can drown after the swimming is over and the child lays flat to sleep. The water consumed or inhaled while swimming can settle when the child sleeps at night causing them to drown. It is not very common but I wanted to add a little more to your story. I was a trained lifeguard trainer, trained in CPR, trained to teach swim lessons and NOTHING can prepare you for the scary situations that come with swimming (or any situation, reallY) but like you said, you were right there. You did all the right things and I am glad you brought this up. Take the time to realize your kids are just that.. kids… and keep them close!
    Thank you for sharing and I am SUPER happy he is okay!
    Take time for yourself and heal from this.

  43. Kate, that’s so scary and I am so sorry that it happened to you. I had a similar situation when my son was small. I still can’t think about it without getting that sinking feeling in my stomach. We didn’t even end up in the ER, but I woke up in the middle of the night, in tears, for weeks afterwards. I’m praying that you will have peace of mind, and thanking God that Clark made it through just fine. Thank you for helping me to remember that awareness is key.

    God bless you and your sweet family.

  44. Literally sobbing, both at your experience and because you write the disclaimer so many times that you don’t need any rude comments. I know from experience that, sadly, the one rude comment will stick in your head more than the hundreds of supportive comments will. 🙁

    You’re a mommy first and a blogger second — and we all love you for it. Your priorities keep your grounded and help you to succeed in all you do. We love you and Sara, we love your families and their support of both of you, we love what you do. 🙂

  45. A message that bears repeating – not just in summer for sure. How absolutely terrifying. My mama’s heart goes out to you sitting in that hotel room without your boy. So glad he’s doing okay.

  46. It can happen to ANYONE, and like you said, it only takes a second. Thanks for sharing such a personal and difficult story. Everyone needs a reminder of how easily things can go wrong. Thank God your son is doing well! I’ll keep you and your family in my prayers.

  47. Almost the exact thing happened to me as a child when I was about 6 years old. The fam was on vacation; mom was sitting by the pool watching me as I bopped around in the shallow end. Well, just like your son, I eventually got too close to the deep end slope, and down I went. Luckily, my mom must’ve had her eyes on me at the instant it happened, because before I knew it, she dove into the water and was pulling me out. I don’t think I even swallowed any water, and I’m pretty sure I went right back to swimming (albeit MUCH further away from where the slope was). I was very lucky that my mom was watching me so closely at that moment. It could have been much worse.

    This was a very good tale to tell, Kate.

  48. Thank u for posting this! I am so sorry this happened to your family, but thank u for being wise enough to share. I will be so much more careful.

  49. I saved my brother from drowning at one stage when we were swimming at a river. I don’t even know if Mum knows about it.
    I also almost drowned a couple of times at the beach where mum used to let us go all summer by ourselves.
    Try not to focus on the ‘what if’ and just know your son is meant to be around and you’re being watched over.
    Try not to let guilt get to you either, it’s the worst thing that can pull us mothers down.
    Easier said than done, I know but you can do it.
    Sorry you had to go through it.

  50. My heart also goes out to you. Like you said something you never would have imagined but something we all need to be mindful of with swimming. Glad you boy is ok!

  51. You are amazing! Thanks for sharing your story-written beautifully. So glad you were able to go ahead and come to Phoenix. We enjoyed the conference VERY much. Our grandkids love the dinousar shaped chicken nuggets..heehee

  52. As a kid who had some near death experiences while under supervision of AMAZING parents, I completely understand and am so grateful that your little family is okay! You are awesome and my heart goes out to you guys.

  53. I learned a few months ago when my almost 18 mo old, at the time, fell from our 13 ft. outdoor balcony to the cement slab below, not to judge any mother for terrible accidents. Nothing was more traumatic in all my life. I thought he was dead. The. Worst. Feeling. In. The. World. He must have had an angel helping him as he fell because he only suffered a broken arm. Not a bump or bruise on his head or anywhere else. You and your family have experienced the same miracle and I am so grateful for that. We are our own worse enemy…..I KNEW it was my fault. Nothing CPS could say was any worse than what I had already thought and said to my self. But in the end it was an accident and we learned what to never do again. Just as you did. Forgive yourself and forever remember your miracle. That is what I am working on to this day. And remember as my 10 year son told me, “Heavenly Father just isn’t done with him yet, Mom.” Prayers of peace being sent your way.

  54. Even though I already knew the whole story, reading it here made the tears roll off my cheeks, big time. I’m so grateful for the miracles that came together so that Clark could survive this horrific ordeal. You are loved!

  55. I’m glad you’re all okay. I hope no one says anything hurtful. You are already incredible in my book with all that you get done. Even with cereal for dinner! My life is better and happier because of all you share with us from dinner to kid projects to desserts to tears. I appreciate you so much.

  56. I am so very glad that you were blessed. Thanks for all you do for those around you. This is one heart you have touched with your honesty and integrity. Thanks for sharing your life. You have a wonderful family!!!

  57. Oh Kate! That is every mother’s worst nightmare! Thank you for sharing–we have often assumed that our oldest could be responsible in the pool for her siblings, but I just emailed your story to my husband and said we can’t be doing that anymore! It only takes a second! My heart goes out to you and I am so glad your sweet boy is alright!!

  58. Just want to say that all your kids are super cute! Also, one of my daughters was recued by the lifeguard 2 different times in one year. Both times I had left to change my baby and asked a friend to keep an eye on her (which they did; the lifeguard was just faster). She never had problems except when I left her, but I definitely know the guilt you put yourself through as a mom! So sorry this happened to you. I do love the opportunity to see pictures of your cute kids though!

  59. I’m so very glad your little boy is okay. What a scary thing, for all involved.

    My son had a very different, but nonetheless life-threatening experience a couple of years ago, with thankfully a happy ending. I found that the aftermath of the scary events could crop up in unusual ways. Kids process things differently than we do, and it may be helpful to have someone you or he could talk to about it. Also, I too was filled with “what-ifs” afterward, and found that the only way I could push those aside was to count all the blessings that led to a good outcome–the things that aligned in just the perfect way so that he was ultimately okay.

    Blessings to you and your family.

  60. I so glad your little peanut, Clark, is ok! And what a wonderful news clip that was of the young man who saved him! Your words of being prepared and thinking things through are so important; for everyone, but especially those with little kids. Thank you for posting this!

  61. What an incredible story. I am amazed that everyone was where they were needed. You are so blessed and watched over. It is so comforting to know that Heavenly Father watches out for all of us, especially your little boy Clark. I’m so glad he is well, and thanks for helping me realize I have room for improvement in the safety department!

  62. I, too, had an incident this weekend where I put my two year old down for a nap and heard him screaming a few minutes later. He had swallowed a thumb tack which had been holding a map up above his bed. He kept grabbing his throat and we were scared that the tack was lodged somewhere. We had to take him to the ER. He is fine and that incident is not even on the same scale with yours, but it’s scary how quickly unexpected things can happen. We just do the best we can to keep our kids safe, but we can’t anticipate everything.

  63. I know it was hard to write, but this is such a great post. It’s so important for all of us to be reminded that we need to be careful and be prepared and that bad things can happen so quickly.

    My heart aches for you having to go back to an empty hotel room in the middle of the night. My daughter was in the PICU a few years ago and one of the hardest things was seeing her empty crib on the nights my family made me go home for a good night’s rest. I hope that by the time you got to the hotel you were sure he was going to be fine and there was some measure of comfort in that. I’m so happy for you that the right people were there to help him (and you!) and that he is ok.

  64. I completely understand! I almost lost my little boy when he opened the front door one morning and started walking down the street before I woke up. I now have a much more childproofed house and I am trying not to become neurotic. Baby #3 is due soon and I’ve been wondering how I’m going to sufficiently watch 3 kids under 4 in the pool next summer in this Texas heat or if I’ll just go stir crazy in my apartment. Thank you for sharing!

  65. My heart and prayers go out to you! What a scary experience. I had a similar thing happen when I was in high school and babysitting two little girls while their parents were out of town. I was sitting at the edge of the pool watching, and saw one of the little girls go under. I jumped in and got her out quickly, but she did come up sputtering and coughing. I had a lot of adults nearby tell me awful things about how negligent I was. It left me feeling sick for a long time afterward. Thanks for sharing your story and caution to all parents (and babysitters!).

    1. I don’t understand how your saving her was negligent–what awful things to have been told! They should have been commending you for your vigilance!!

  66. Kate- You are brave and strong and really wise to share this information. My heart completely goes out to you for having faced such a terrifying situation and I am so deeply grateful that the outcome was okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are an amazing mamma who seems to balance your work and family life brilliantly. Sending lots of lovely peaceful thoughts to you. Deep breath. You’re all going to heal!

  67. Thank you so much for sharing this, even though it was hard. This information saves lives. I have a 6 year old who sounds like your son, she never ever breaks the rules and she is an excellent swimmer, but it really struck me when you said,”they don’t have the life experience necessary to not freak out if something catches them off guard.” That is so true. No matter how good of swimmers they may be, they are not adults. Thank you so much for the reminder, I know I will be more vigilant now.

  68. Thank you for your post. It must have been awful to have to write, but is such an excellent reminder for all of us. Especially me, since I am always right next to my son (who has a seizure disorder) and not really by my daughter…this sort of thing could have happened to any child and any parent, so please don’t beat yourself up about it. Let it go knowing that your experience is helping all of your readers be more aware. And for those of you who won’t go to the hassle of taking a formal CPR class, at least learn how to do chest compressions to the BeeGee’s Stayin’ Alive song! Those are more important than worrying about how to get them oxygen right away.

  69. That sounds unbelievably terrifying, and I’m so glad Clark is okay. My niece actually choked on Saturday with three adults around her (she’s okay; my sister reacted amazingly quickly and calmly), so I know all too well that these things can happen to anyone at anytime. Thank you for sharing this information, from a non-mom.

  70. if i was near you, i would give you a big hug. what a terrifying experience. i am so relieved your son is okay. !!!! if anyone sends harsh words your way – screw them. you are so obviously a wonderful wife/mom/sister/friend. take care and God bless you and your sweet family. 🙂

  71. Thank you for sharing, Kate. I live in Utah and was touched last week when I heard the story of the high school hero. But now that I realize I “know” the family it happened to, it becomes so much more real and personal. Thank you for the reminder that we all need to be diligent because accidents really can happen to any of us. May you feel lots of love and comfort come your way!

  72. I’m SOOO very happy that this story has a happy ending! Thanks for the wake up call…I know I could be more cautious with my boy and thanks to your post I will. I can’t imagine how scary that was for you and Clark. My thoughts are with you guys!

  73. oh mercy i’m crying. so glad he’s ok and thankful for that observant teenager who helped. thank you for sharing your story. as a result, i know i will be a lot more cautious with my kindergartener when we go to the beach in a few weeks.

  74. Thanks for sharing. Accidents can happen to anyone. What a blessing for your family that everything turned out ok. I also feel like I need to learn CPR because I don’t ever want to be in a situation where I couldn’t help because I didn’t have the knowledge. Thanks for some incentive to look into it and get registered for a class.

  75. How absolutely terrifying! I’m so very sorry that you had to go through that. And your poor little guy too! I’m all choked up reading this. Just losing sight of one of my children in the store makes my heart stop. I can’t imagine the agony you felt. But thank you for sharing the experience. You may have saved another child by reminding us of something so important that we often think could never happen to us.

  76. This was a tearjerker for me! I’m so glad he is ok and hope there is nothing residual – rather it be respiratory or fear of water!
    Woo hoo for the brave teenager who stepped it up and did a miraculous deed! All the best to each of you!

  77. Thank you so much for sharing your experience! All of us moms need a reminder of how dangerous water is ALL of the time. That article on what drowning really looks like is so informative – I didn’t really know what drowning is like in real life. I think it’s so important for all of us to be CPR certified too. I’m so glad your son is okay, and that you have a wonderful outlet to share your experience!

  78. Thank you for sharing your story and sharing that article. I think most people don’t understand how QUIET drowning is. My husband and I learned this when we used to take our toddler daughter swimming in our (unheated) hot tub. We’d be sitting there in the water with her and she’d be splashing and bouncing around on our laps. Even with us right there, there were a couple times when she’d slip off a lap and go under the water and I vividly remember thinking “oh my god, it happens so quietly.” We could grab her immediately, of course, but it gave me nightmares about how easily a kid could slip out of the house and drown in the space of a few minutes and there would be no warning. Still gives me chills thinking about it!

    I’m so glad your son is okay! It’s an important reminder for us all to be more diligent because this can surely happen to anyone. HUGS!

  79. Kate, so sorry that you had to go through this. I was in PHX for your book signing and TOFW, and I think you are a great Mom, and you really inspired me.

  80. So grateful your little guy is safe. I love those tender mercies from caring and skilled people.

    Thank you for sharing your miracle with us and your helpful tips!

  81. That is one of my worst nightmares!! I’m so glad he is doing fine. Thank goodness for all those people around to help! It’s scary how fast that can happen! Thank you so much for the warnings and the articles!!

    1. Wow, bad grammar and spelling on my part! I’m not sure what house bumps are, but I meant goose bumps and too not to! Hopefully you get the point.

  82. I don’t know if it’s pg hormones or what, but this has me in tears. I’m so glad your little boy is ok! Be safe, but don’t beat yourself up over it…forgive yourself. Big hugs!

  83. So sorry you had this experience, it breaks my heart! It’s truly a reminder that these things can happen to anyone and we can never be too cautious! I hope you feel comforted and remember that angels were watching over your son, both earthly and Heavenly and it was not his time to go. Don’t rehash that what ifs’… you are a great mom!

  84. I have 3 times in my short 5 years of being a mom where I KNOW Heavenly Father directly saved the life of one of my children. Despite the horribleness of those situations, I take comfort in the fact that my Father is as much, though probably more, invested in my children’s lives as I am. Glad he is okay.

  85. WOW. Thank goodness for the special prompting that Greg received, so that he was there to keep your Clark safe! So, so grateful for happy endings. Virtual hugs sent your way!

  86. I’m so sorry you had to experience this but happy to hear it ended well. God works in mysterious ways and maybe by posting this your horror might save someone down the road.

  87. Thanks for sharing this story, it must have been really difficult to write that post. Don’t be hard on yourself, you are a great and loving mother. I’m a long time reader/fan of OBB and I can tell how much family means to you. I’m so glad your son is ok. I agree, everyone should be certified in CPR. It’s free.

  88. Thank you for sharing your difficult story…it made me heartsick for you! I read the article on drowning and promptly texted my daughters to not miss your blog today…I don’t think that they ever miss it anyway. I am so glad yad had such a happy ending!

  89. Thank you for sharing and for the reminder of the things we can do to protect our family. I believe most mothers have had an experience similar to this. When you have more than one child it is not possible to keep your eyes and ears on each one the whole time. Thank goodness for a smart, caring teenager that could be the eyes and ears that day. I pray for you to have peace and that clark will be able to get back in the water without too much fear.

  90. I am so sorry this happened to you!! It happened to my daughter in our backyard pool last year and was the worst experience of my life. I’m shaking just reading your story because it is so scary. I thought I lost my little one too! I’m so glad your little guy is okay! There can never be too many reminders because it happens so fast – even to the best, most cautious parents!

  91. My heart goes out to you! I had a similar experience with my 4 year old this summer, and I know just what you mean about thinking about the “what if’s”. It’s so heart-breaking to have to live it over and over again. So glad that your son had angels watching over him that day, I know my son did this summer.

  92. To be honest, I wasn’t going to read the link you provided because how can you not tell your kid is drowning? So glad I read it! I don’t think I would have recognized drowning until it was too late. Thank you for sharing, it must be very difficult but hopefully you’ve helped save other kids by showing parents just how serious this is. Thank you, and glad that everything turned out alright.

  93. Contrary to what you would think, kids don’t make a sound when they fall in the water. Even if they don’t hit their head and are fully conscious they don’t splash around and call attention to themselves. They freeze up and sink. It happens all the time when you back is turned for only a second. Glad to hear he is OK.

  94. Thank you for that reminder. It is always good to be reminded that accidents can happen in a split second. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. My baby was just in the hospital, and it is a terrifying experience.

  95. This is my first time on OBB, and oh my word!! I am SOOO sorry about your son! That sounds terrifying to say the least!! I have two brothers that have nearly drown. One of them does have brain damage, but I am so happy for the miracle that your son is alright. Thank you for the good reminder!! I have three little boys and I start getting WAY too comfortable with their swimming skills, when they are still only 6 and 4. Not good. Thank you and God bless.

  96. Oh Kate, my heart goes out to you. I had a choking incident with my then nearly 18 month old daughter where it took me about 30 seconds to get her breathing again (30 seconds that seemed like an hour). I jokingly tell others that I thought I was going to need Xanax for almost 6 months after but I remember how the what ifs and memories of the event just sneak up on you and are almost overwhelming. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  97. I’m SO glad that your little one is better! Thanks for sharing. It’s nice to hear some good advice before it happens to us. That’s a great article about drowning, I recently read it myself and was very surprised by what I learned. You are a fantastic mom, crap like this happens to everyone. I hope you can let the memories go soon and feel calm. Such a horrible incident to live through.

  98. So sorry you had to go through this, but what a blessing that everything turned out okay for you all. Thanks for sharing because this is a lesson we can all be reminded of.

  99. My heart aches for what you have had to go through. I am so glad to hear that he is doing well! You will be in our prayers. Just reading this brings me back to a situation with my dad almost ten years ago. It’s amazing how hearing something can bring every emotion so vividly back to the surface.

    Just had to share in the way of advice for others who might be reading, please yield quickly to emergency response vehicles. Don’t wait to pull over or try to beat them out making a turn. Every patient is important and every second counts when your loved one is in the back of an ambulance. Yielding quickly so the ambulance doesn’t have to slow down can make the difference between life or death.

  100. Such a strong woman and mother you are for sharing this story. I am relieved to hear he survived, however, and I am glad that as a family you all took something from this and are sharing the story to make others aware. In these circumstances, that is the best thing you can do not only to help others, but to help yourself move past the experience and ensure it never happens again. Thank you for sharing, I do not have children of my own yet, but when I do I will remember stories such as these to remember to constantly keep an eye on them!

  101. As Parents we have tons to beat ourselves up about on a daily basis it seems doesn’t it? But so few are the times we pat ourselves on the backs for just being able to get our kids semi grown up! As the mother of a 16 yr old I have lost him on beach with literally 100,000 people on it when he was 3 yrs old for 55 of the longest minutes of my life, saw him slip into the deep end of a friends pool while standing two feet from him and warning him to stop. He still went under for a second and sucked in pool water and doesn’t swim to this day. We are working on it though! And, just recently had a near accident while driving to school at 55 mph(he has his Permit and we are building up the 100+ hours needed for a licence) and I was in the passenger seat and it was sooo not his fault,so it happens to all of us! thank you for sharing Sara and keeping it real. Hang in there and know that everyone who was there was SUPPOSED TO BE THERE and that the outcome was also SUPPOSED to be.

  102. I am so relieved he is ok. I saw another story like this recently. The mom had looked down to post pictures of her kids swimming and her little guy, 5, got out of his floaty. We often forget how dangerous water can be or how quick it can happen. We are all guilty of not being super vigilant at some point, myself included. Again I am so happy he is ok.

  103. I am so glad that things worked out in the end… I know how scared you must have been. I did learn cpr when I was working for an elderly gentleman with a heart issue but never had to use it on him….I did, however, end up using it on both my son and my father….I highly recommend that Everyone learn this very valuable skill. I was also an EMT for six years (this was after all those scares as a civilian) and that was the one thing I used more than any other. Again, I am happy that he is ok and that you had HEROES available to make sure of that!!!!!!

    thank you for having the courage to share this story…it WILL make a positive impact on many people, whether they let you know or not

  104. Thanks for this post! I am so afraid of this and it is a good reminder to not trust that your kids will be fine in the water just because they have learned to swim or they are older. I don’t dare let anyone else take my kids swimming because things just happen so fast. It is so easy to get distracted with the very things you mentioned you were distracted with. I know that would be an issue for me. I am so glad everything is okay! This post gave me chills and teary eyes. Thank heavens for people who follow the Spirit. And for it to be a teenage boy who could have been doing something else with his friends is truly amazing.

  105. Oh, I’m so sorry you and your family had that experience! How frightening! My heart hurt reading it. YOU are a GOOD mom and it shows.

  106. I can’t even imagine going through that and having to worry about rude comments from others. Especially when it could happen to anyone; being completely vigilant does not protect anyone from accidents. When I think about possible mean comments, I hurt because I know that they have simply not lived life enough to know that things really can happen to anyone. So, please, if you get any mean comments, don’t take them to heart. Be sad for them to know that at some point, their eyes will be opened as well.

    My parents taught us the Heimlich as young kids. I never thought I would actually have to use it…. but my brother has needed to use it once, and I have had to use it on two different occasions with two of my toddlers. Your comment of kids not being experienced enough to not freak out resonated with me. I was close to 30 when I had to use the Heimlich on my kids. I was so glad to know it, but I thought that it would work the first time. I had no idea that it can take several attempts to finally dislodge something caught in the throat. Those moments I doubted myself; was I doing it wrong? Was it not going to work? Do I stop the movements for a second to grab the phone to call 911? Do I keep going and hope it will finally work? I start to shake a little now just thinking of it, and it’s been a decade. Even adults have freak outs where they can’t think clearly! Luckily, after 7-8 attempts, it worked and my kids were fine, but it felt like an eternity. After needing to use the Heimlich, I remember thinking that I really should learn CPR, too. I did learn it, but it was so long ago, that I don’t remember it well enough to feel comfortable doing it. Thank you for the reminder that another course would be good!

    I have been following your blog for quite some time now. Thank you for sharing your recipes and your life. When I clicked on your link to read the story, I was surprised to realize that I am lucky enough to know Greg, too. You are a good Mom, doing your best, and from what Greg said in the article, you were right there, seconds after him. Heavenly Father was watching over you and your family. Choose to feel the love and caring from others and not any possible criticisms.

  107. Thank you for sharing this story! I have so many of those moments when I’m distracted by all the little things (chatting with friends, checking my email, thinking about my to-do list) and I’m not giving my full attention to my children when they’re in potentially dangerous situations. Thank you for the reminder to stay more present. I’m so glad your little boy is okay! Hope your family continues to do well.

  108. I live in Salt Lake City and I remember hearing about this when they first reported the story. I am so glad things worked out the way they did and so glad that your little one is okay.

  109. My heart goes out to you. And this isn’t your fault! Last year my 4yr old daughter went under the water AT swimming lessons, with the instructor AND a lifeguard just feet away! I was sitting about 10 feet away, separated by a section of the pool, and as a former lifeguard and swimming instructor I was watching her like a hawk, but it STILL happened! One of the scariest moments of my life! It happens in an instant. I’m so grateful you’re willing to share your story, because it is so important to get the word out that drowning is SILENT – you will not hear anything. A kid is fine one second, and then next, they are under the water – no sounds, no yells for help, no splashing. And every parent should know CPR if possible. This is a reminder for me that I need to get my CPR certification back up-to-date and need to drag my husband to class with me so he can get certified. I’m so glad that Clark is okay!

  110. I am so sorry you had to endure such a scary situation! However, I’m so happy that all is well now. Thank you for the reminder of how important it is to know CPR and make sure that caregivers know CPR too. God bless your dear family!

  111. Thank you for sharing this, although I’m sure it was very, very difficult. Thank God your son is safe and the people that needed to be there were able to do what was necessary. I read the article concerning the signs of drowning, and found the information to be invaluable as my family spends a lot of time around water. Thank you for sharing your family’s story and potentially saving numerous lives in the process.

  112. Thank you so much for posting that. I know it must have been difficult to write, let alone go through, but I appreciate you raising awareness to the issue. I babysit five kids through the summer, and you never know what could happen around a pool. The article was very helpful, so thanks again.

  113. Thank you for sharing this difficult story. I often expect my older children to act a little more mature than I should, thanks for the wake up call and my CPR card expired way too many years ago, I need to get that up to date as well.

  114. Big ((HUGS)) Momma. Thank you for sharing. I think all parents have had scary experiences and will understand and support you. Thank God all is well!

  115. Wow, thanks for raising our awareness. Needs to happen regularly. I’m sorry for this heart-stopping moment(s) in your life, and so glad that cute boy is ok.

  116. !!! I am SO glad that story had a ‘happy ending’ and you didn’t lose your son. I also hope that you don’t allow yourself to wallow in guilt about what DID happen. You are absolutely right, it could happen to anybody. So don’t beat yourself up. And thanks for the warning – I know I’ll be more careful.

  117. Kate, I am so glad to hear that your sweet boy is okay. Praise the Lord for quick action and miraculously placed people! Thank you for sharing your story. Anyone who criticizes you or blames you for this simply has no clue how fast water accidents can happen. As a swim lesson teacher and water safety instructor for 7 years, trust me, I know – and Clark’s accident was in no way your fault. And as far of the scary moments where you relive the “what ifs”, just remember that that is all they will ever be. Things went the way they did because that’s the way He planned it. You may not have been the one to pull him from the water or give him CPR, but you are his mom, and you will be the one that helps him heal and grow from this. Again, I am so sorry your son had to live thought this terrifying ordeal, but I am so relieved he is okay!!

  118. There’s nothing I can really add to what has been said, but I feel compelled to say that I wept for your near loss. Scary and frightening don’t even begin to cover what it must have been like for you. Accidents happen. You’re a good mom. I’m so glad he’s okay!

  119. So glad that Clark is fine and also thankful that you posted this…it gives us all a chance to understand that water accidents are common. When my daughter was just a toddler, I was sitting right next to her dangling my legs in the water at the public baby pool. I was reading a book while she stood right next to me playing in the water. I looked up after each sentence to check on her. In once sentence she managed to slide under the water without one sound. She was laying on her back looking up. It was one of the most frightening moments of my life. She was under just seconds and came up coughing and crying, but I never did anything like that again. I would never have believed that something like that could happen, but it can happen even in a bathtub, I am sure of it.

    Knowing that parents of infants and toddlers may be reading this I want to caution everyone to be very careful about camera and hearing aid batteries that can be picked up off the floor and swallowed. I have read about one near death because of a swallowed camera battery and want to get the word out.

  120. What a Thanksgiving you’ll have this year! Praise God for His provision and watchcare over your family. I’m so glad everything turned out okay. How scary…it just makes my heart race. I know the feeling of being outnumbered by your children at the pool park etc…there’s absolutely no way to watch them all at once. My heart hurts to think you’d get a rude comment about this post. Thank you for sharing and the public service announcement and reminder for us all.

  121. Thank you for sharing such a painful experience. I am so thankful your son is all right. As I watched the news story, I heard a couple of times that some “unknown reason” kept that teen from the dance and at the pool – that reason was God Almighty. What a special plan He must have for Clark! Thanks again for sharing – I know I’ll give my sweeties an extra hug tonight after reading this.

  122. Dear, sweet Kate,

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Thank heavens that your precious little one is okay, and thank you for sharing such a tragic story. It took a lot of guts to do that, especially when the situation is still so raw. Hug your little ones, tell your husband to hug you, and know that those of us in the ether who look forward to your posts each week are very grateful that you came through this horrific experience so successfully. God bless you!

  123. I am writing this with tears streaming down my face. It is obvious to anyone that reads your column that you are an excellent mother. Every single parent has had a moment when they were looking the other way and their child could or did suffer a freak mishap. It seems as though you are beating yourself up a bit about this and you absolutely should not. You and your family have suffered through a harrowing, gut wrenching experience but Clark went through that surrounded by people who love and care about him which is a priceless gift.
    One of the best tips that I learned in my CPR course is that you pump the chest to the rhythm of the BeeGees song “Staying Alive”. I don’t know the words other than “staying alive, staying alive, uh uh uu uh, stayin’ alive!” but it’s a rhythm that gets stuck in your head and that you would easily remember in an emergency situation.

  124. thank you so much for sharing your story! hopefully you’ve prevented many heartaches and future terrible accidents from happening by sharing. We as parents need reminders like this ALL OF THE TIME 🙂 It is MORE than appropriate to post!

  125. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Glad everything is ok though. It’s crazy how fast scary things can happen. Thank goodness Heavenly Father was watching over your little boy.
    And thank you for the link to the story. I never really thought about the fact that most drowning victims won’t look like the ones we see on tv. I also appreciate the CPR reminder. I was certified when I was in college…5 years ago…and I definitely don’t remember most of what I learned.

  126. Holy smokes. Very hard to read, and so hoping the end would be good, which fortunately it was. On a lighter note, what a cute pack of kids! Glad they’re all safe and sound.

  127. Sorry you had to go through that. The same thing happened to my sister two summers ago. They were a family of swimmers, all the kids were very experienced in the water. The dad turned his back for 2 seconds, turned back around and couldn’t find his son. They pulled him off the bottom of the pool, blue and not breathing. Thankfully his story ended as yours did, with no long term damage. I think it’s awesome that you told your story.

    One more hint for you: don’t wait to take your kiddo back to the pool… the longer you wait the more afraid they are after an experience like this. My niece’s swim coach called the family and said he wanted to immediately give some private lessons to my nephew so that he wouldn’t develop any crazy fears that could impact him for a lifetime.

  128. I think the fear factor of everyday things and small accidents is always in the back of every mother’s head and you are right, it could happen to anyone. I am glad that your story has a happy ending and you were surrounded by all the right people at the right time. Give Clark a squeeze from all of your readers! Thanks for sharing and linking to the article.

  129. Thoughts and prayers to you, your son and family. What a scary ordeal. Thank you for sharing…as difficult as I am sure it was for you to put words down on this…you most definitely have saved another life as a result.

  130. Thank God your son was okay, and thank God for the teenager and for Sarah’s husband knowing CPR. My daughter is five and is not yet a strong swimmer, and this really resonates with me. I am going to look into a CPR class.

    Glad everything turned out okay. I can’t imagine a tragedy greater than losing a child.

  131. Thank you thank you thank you. I think of a few of my kids as being good swimmers, but your story has made me realize that they might be excellent swimmers, but they are still kids. This past summer my youngest (age 4, not a swimmer), who is a very cautious kid who is pretty scared of the water, just jumped in a pool we were arriving at because the rest of the crowd was. In the hustle and bustle of arriving I wasn’t watching because I never would have expected him to do it. I turned back to the pool and saw him sputtering, reaching for the side. Lesson learned for this mama. I will keep a close eye on ALL them at the pool.

  132. It’s horrible but it happens. I was in a hot tub with the kids and talking to my sister. My littlest (2yrs) had been very needy that day and while we were in the hot tub (it was pool temperature) she kept jumping in my lap and whining. I set her to stand next to me. I wasn’t looking at her, but we were touching bodies so I felt her moving next to me, kicking, patting my shoulder….I felt like I was watching over her. The next thing I know my other child shouts: Rachel is drowning! She was RIGHT NEXT TO ME–TOUCHING ME! But what I had mistaken for jumping around was actually head under the water flailing around. We lifted her up and she was absolutely fine, but it brought home that water is serious and it’s harder than I thought to keep an eye on things. I’m sorry you had to go through it and I know how guilty you must feel. A big hug to you and your boy!

  133. I hope no one has sent you any mean messages! This could have happened to any one of us. Thank you for sharing and the reminder. We also had a scary experience last week with my son and those “what if’s” are always in the back of my mind. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving season!

  134. How scary! I’m so glad your son is okay and so sorry you had to go through such a terrifying experience. I was a lifeguard for many years and it’s crazy how quickly things can get bad… So great to hear there were people there to help and such a good reminder how careful we need to be. Thanks for sharing.

  135. I’m so sorry you had to go through this an I’m so grateful it turned out as good as it did. I hope you don’t get rude comments. My sister’s friend (a very attentive mother) recently lost her son from complications from a near drowning. I was infuriated with the extremely cruel comments people left on the news article (why do they even have the option for people to post comments on things like that?). Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and to anyone. How scary!

  136. Thank you.. truly thank you for posting this and reminding every one of us that you can never be too careful. I am sitting here in tears because I had a moment this past summer when my 3 year old went under and panicked and thank the Lord, I was actually standing right next to him and was able to jump in for him before he even swallowed enough water to go unconscious… but 5 minutes before that, I wasn’t standing right there. I was distracted… and it hit me so hard how quickly that could have gone so badly. It absolutely does happen to good parents… and sometimes even if you do everything by the book, things can still happen… I’m so sorry you had to experience such a dreadful experience but praise God it has a happy ending and again, thank you for allowing all of us to learn from it.

  137. Wow, Kate, I saw that story on KSL when it first came out and I said a little prayer thanking God for the presence and presence of mind of the young man who pulled the boy from the pool. I am so glad things worked out in the best possible way.

    Does anyone know how to get CPR certified less expensively than through the Red Cross classes? I used to be certified, and it bugs me now that I am not, but I just can’t afford the class fees.

    1. I went to a local fire department with a youth group for a church activity and the EMT’s and Medics taught us all for free. You might be able to try that route.

  138. I’m sitting here, teary-eyed, while reading your experience. We never know what’s around the corner, and this could happen to ANY ONE! I pray you’re receiving nothing but love from your blog-readers, and shame on those who would judge you. I believe we will be judged as we judge! I’m so grateful that you had and continue to have such an awesome support system of friends and family, and those strangers who happened to be around the evening this happened. God is so gracious and generous to us…celebrate Thanksgiving this year with extra gusto!

  139. I was in the middle of reading this and got all teary when the FEDEX guy came to my door HA! I can’t believe that anyone would actually leave negative or mean comments here. This could happen to ANYBODY! It happened to my son a few years ago when he was five and it still haunts me. I am so glad your little boy is ok!

  140. I know this is one comment of a million, but I had no idea this happened to you. I’m so glad your little boy is ok. And from a mom who has spent significant time in the PICU at Primary’s, my heart goes out to you. All someone has to say is “PICU” and I am instantly transported back. You’re a good mom, I’m glad you had angels watching over you.

  141. thank you for sharing your story! No rude comments or judgements here – it can happen to any of us and more times than not, I’ve realized that life changes in a matter of seconds. So happy that yours had a happy ending!

  142. I am very glad you shared your story. It’s a incredibly helpful reminder to all parents and caregivers. Thank God for the boy who helped, CPR being remembered and administered in time, and excellent medical care. Hug him a little tighter each day. I know I will hug my two that way in honor of your family. Take care!

  143. God Bless you and your idle thoughts as I’m sure this will consume them for quite some time. You are a WONDERFUL mother and thank you for sharing your story, a story that could happen to anyone.

  144. I just bawled reading this and then bawled some more watching the video. I am so glad your son is okay. I have always been really paranoid about kids and water. I have a cousin who was a really strong swimmer and nearly drowned (4 minutes underwater) at the age of 16. It really can happen to anyone. Thank you for sharing this. Hopefully your tips will help keep some little ones safe.

  145. What a blessing to have your boy alive and well. A couple years ago, our daughter almost drowned in a river. The two men who jumped in to save her, were not the best swimmers (our girl was better than them, even though she was only 7). It taught me the importance that even adults need to swim well. If you have children, make sure you can save them. I hope your son a fast recovery. He’ll probably be scared of water for awhile. our girl still is.

  146. Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU for posting that! I have recently purchased an I-phone, and I am always texting on it while driving down the freeway. I give some thought to the safety of myself and my children, but, I usually push it to the side assuring myself that I am a good driver, and I would not get into an accident because of this. This story goes to show how the smallest things can have such a huge impact. I will not text and drive anymore. Thank you for sharing!

  147. Wow, I’m so sorry you guys had to go through this but so glad everything turned out okay. When I was a toddler we had a family party around a pool. There were a lot of people there and a lot of people watching me and yet I still managed to fall in the spa. My grandma saw and jumped fully clothed in to get me. I wasn’t in long enough to have lost consciousness but it still scared everyone. Accidents happen in a split second and can happen to anyone. I’m glad you’re using this experience to help not only your family but others try and avoid some accidents. I know it can be tough to share experiences like this, especially with strangers on the internet, but hopefully it’ll help save some more lives.

  148. What a horrible wake-up call. So glad your son is okay, and so appreciative that you turned such a terrifying incident into an opportunity to educate others. God Bless you and your family.

  149. Wow! Kate, thanks so much for sharing your story. My heart goes out to you and your family. I am so glad to hear that things turned out ok. Sending hugs and happy thoughts your way!

  150. Thank you for being so brave & sharing your story & links with your readers. The big guy upstairs was definitely watching out for all of you that day. My new saying is “Every day when we wake up we have another list of things to be thankful for.”

  151. Thank you for your story. I life guarded for six years and have made many rescues. People just don’t realize how dangerous water can be. I once rescued a six year old boy who could not swim who was holding his older brother and father under the water with him, both of which could swim. I often get teased at family events that are near water because I have a hard time relaxing.

    I am grateful for your post and grateful for the safety of your son.

  152. Oh wow. I am so sorry for your experience and so thankful that all turned out so well! Thank you for sharing. What a terrifying experience for all of you!

  153. Thank you for writing this, you nailed it. So glad your son in ok. My older child went under once when my sister turned her back on him at the pool, lifeguard dove in fully clothed to get him. The second time he was 8, it had been a long day, early morning swim meet, late raft night. We were standing right there when he went under, a father next to me was able to just reach in and grab him immediately. My son was surprised that it even happened to him. I explained that he was tired and needed to learn his limits. It was a good teaching moment.

  154. Kate, I’m so glad that Clark and the rest of your family is well.Water can definitely take us by surprise. I admire you for sharing your experience to help another. That’s very bold of you.

    I definitely recommend everyone take a CPR and First Aid class. It was one of the first things my husband and I did together after we got married and we learned so much. It makes both of us feel safer to have someone else know how to help if there is an accident in the kitchen or one of us were to start choking and stop breathing. I hope your readers take your advice seriously.
    ~Andrea

  155. Holy moly, how scary!!!! I have always been fearful of the water. I am not a terrific swimmer but love to be in the pool. We have life jackets for my kids and that has helped me breathe a lot easier but I need that reminder just like everyone else. Thank you and I am soooooooooooooooo glad he is ok!!!! What a sweet miracle!

  156. Bless your heart! So thankful your son is okay and what a blessing to have such a hero among you. Thank you for sharing your story so others may learn and understand that a split second can change your life.

  157. I echo many who do not judge you. As parents we do our best, and even then, accidents and scary things happen. Your cute son obviously has a great purpose in this life, and that’s why he was spared. You are definitely a blessed Momma to have such a great kid to raise.

  158. Oh, my goodness! That is so scary!! I’m so grateful he is okay! Thank you for posting and reminding us to be so cautious. Thank you also for the link to that article on drowning. My little girl had a similar thing happen where she suddenly hit a slope in the pool and started to go down. I too had a baby in my arms and was chatting, but luckily I happened to turn my head to her just as she started going down and I practically threw my baby at my friend, grabbed one of those long floaty sticks from someone on the way and got to her while she was still able to grab it. Reading your story and that article made me realize how truly lucky I was to have seen it. It really did not look like anything much. The people who were all around her had no idea she was in trouble. Thank you for the reminder and I’m so grateful yours had a happy outcome too!

  159. Hugs to you, and thanks for your bravery in sharing and raising awareness about watching kids around water. Though not involving wateer, I went thru a similar type of near tragedy where I could have easily lost my sweet 4 year old, and she wound up with a minor skull fracture (oxymoron, much?) after falling off a ladder that she should never have been on while playing at a neighbors house. Thank you, thank you, thank you God, her brain is fine, and she suffered no lasting effects of her accident; we’re 2 years past the accident, now. But, oh the guilt that I have imposed on myself and the PTSD induced nightmares that I have had to work through.

    I was there “watching” her and visiting with about 6 other adult friends while about 10 kids ran around and played, and NOT ONE of us saw her climb a 8-foot high loft ladder. Not me, her mama didn’t notice until she fell. Talk about mommy guilt. I have learned that things happen in just a few seconds whether water is involved or not. Clearly we need to cautious and watch our kids, but accidents will happen and even the most attentive parent is going to have a moment that they cannot control and did not plan for. I guess I just want to tell you to expect to have a few meltdowns yourself when you slow down a bit. Forgive yourself and to give yourself grace.

    Thank you God for Clark’s saefty. Give his mama Your peace.

  160. I can not even imagine what you went through. Thank you so much for this reminder. We just recently moved to the Phoenix area and my kids are still swimming in November. The same can be said for bath tubs as well. I know I am guilty of getting distracted when my 1 and 3 year old are in the tub. Thank you for sharing your story!

  161. I’m so sorry that you had to go through such a scary situation! I worked as a lifeguard for a few years after high school and even with the best supervision, accidents still can happen. I can’t even begin to imagine how scary this was for you, I’m pretty sure people think I’m neurotic when my kids are in the pool (i even get anxious while my son is taking a private swim lesson with a instructor I completely trust) , but I don’t care anymore. Thank you for the reminder of how important it is to know that accidents can happen even with great supervision,the importance of CPR, and for me to re-certify! Glad Clark is safe and healthy, that you had some amazing , helpful friends and an extremely helpful teenager around at such a scary time!

  162. No rude or hateful comments from me. I am so thankful your son is well. This could happen to any parent who has ever taken their children swimming. Thank you so much for posting this very personal event in your life. Your openness and willingness to share has given me a wake up call. May God continue to bless you and your entire family.

  163. I am so sorry you had to go through this scary experience but I’m so glad all is well!! My little 2 yr old fell into a campfire pit (smoldering coals, not burning fire) this summer and burned her hands badly. We were watching her when it happened and even had my brother standing right next to her but when she lost her footing and started to tumble it didn’t matter – it happened SO fast! So I now know more than anyone how quickly these ACCIDENTS happen! We went through all of the what-if’s and still can’t figure out what we could have done differently (aside from not having a fire at all) but my heart goes out to you!! Thanks for sharing your story!

  164. I’m glad I read this story at home and not at work, because watching the ksl story totally put me in tears. What a scary experience! And how amazing that the teenager followed his heart and went swimming that night. I was at the TOFW in SLC, and I would have never guessed that something like this had just happened. Thank you for sharing this story and your advice. And I’m so glad everyone is healthy again. You are truly an amazing mom!

  165. I want you to know that I completely know what you and your family has gone through. 17 years ago my eldest son drown in his grandmother’s backyard swimming pool. Kyle would be 20 years old and at the time of his death my youngest was 6 month and he was 3. I am super thankful that you don’t know the pain of losing a child. The best thing you can do is stop playing the “What If” game and praise God that you still have Clark. The “What If” game does no good and you’re beating yourself up. I know that it is easier said than done. Accidents can happen so fast. You’re not God and can’t know everything, all you can do is learn from the experience and make corrections so something like this does not happen again. Give your little ones a hug and be thankful for their noise and messes. Treat yourself as you would treat a friend who this had happened to. Take a deep breath, hug your family and let the terror go. Keep the line of communication open with your husband. If you see him or think he’s beating himself up over this, remind him that neither of you are at fault, accidents happen and you both did the best you could do in this situation. Hold each other tight and pray together. My prayer is that this makes your family stronger and I agree that Clark needs to get back in the water and the sooner he does the easier it will be for him. Don’t allow him to make a swimming pool a monster in his own mind. My youngest son swims like a fish and my sibling have no fear when I take their kids swimming. Accidents like this make you super aware of things going on at the pool, and you watch all the kids, not just your own. This is a good thing and should be embraced.
    Good luck,
    Michelle Pense

    1. I already had knots in my stomach after reading this post, but after reading your comment, the tears started falling. Our stories are so similar…my son, aged 20 months, drowned in my grandparents’ pond 17 years ago. He would have turned 19 last month. We also had a 3-year-old at the time. I walked away to get dessert, my grandmother thought I was aware that he was following me, but I didn’t. I turned around the corner and he went the other way. When I returned and we couldn’t find him anywhere (we looked in the pond, but he was submerged and it was murky)…my mother asked God to give her a sign and she saw footprints in the muddy water. She and my aunt jumped in the pond and found him underwater. He was not able to be revived. I am blessed to have had that precious amount of time with him and look forward to the day that we are reunited.

  166. Thank you for sharing this. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard just reliving the nightmare enough to share is.

    I am truly sorry this happened to your family, but I am also glad Clark is okay, as are all the other children. Keeping your family in my thoughts.

  167. Oh my goodness…. thanks for sharing this story. I’ve read so many like this before and each time it’s a big wake up call to be so careful around water. I have little people I supervise without getting in all the time. I think it’s time I put on my suit and jump in too. This could happen to any of us.
    Thanks for the reminder. I am SO thankful he is OK. So very thankful.

  168. So happy to hear he is ok! I wish more people realized that drowning is typically silent! It isn’t the splashing and screaming for help we see on tv. It’s someone slipping on the slope of the pool or my 3 year old slipping off the step with me sitting less than a foot from him. Silently they just go under! Luckily I snatched my son out in time but it was very eye opening and terrifying to think it would have only taken another 30 seconds and my story could have been much different.

  169. oh man, I have a knot in my stomach that feels like a rock after reading that so I can only imagine how you feel. As soon as I read the word “pool”, I almost burst into tears thinking that one of you might have lost a child. I’m so, so, SO glad that things turned out for the best. Hugs to all of you (and 3 for Clark!). Thanks for sharing the great information too.

  170. I teared up, too. Thank you for sharing such an intense experience. It will help me and many others who read it. I’m happy you’re all ok!

  171. Oh my goodness, I am sooo sorry you had to go through this and I really think something like this could happen to anyone. I’m so happy everything turned out okay!

  172. Poor you, Kate. At least what started as a potentially tragic story has a happy ending this time. Thank you for putting the word out and educating people.
    We have a pool in our backyard and we are always super careful when friends bring their kids (we don’ t have any kids ourselves)
    I’ve read that article before and I was really surprised to learn how quiet and peaceful a drowning actually is in real life.
    Thank you for sharing your story and that article.

  173. Wow, I can relate SO much to this post. I almost lost my 7 week old baby two weeks ago. Not from drowning in water, but pretty much drowning in air freshener from the help of his 2 year old sister. He received chest compressions and oxygen in the ambulance as his heart rate dropped deathly low, and he stared death in the eye. He is now healthy as can be, but as the mother, I think I’m still recovering! Like you, I stay busy, so that sure has helped. But while he has recovered, it will take me much longer as I remember specific images from that night, and I can’t help but think of “what ifs”, and it sends me down a crying path! I entered my website in the website field of this comment, and you’re welcome to read about it. Glad things worked out for you! I truly believe in the power of prayer.

  174. Thank God that your little guy is okay! *hugs to your family*
    I lifeguarded at public pools through high school and college, and while I never had to perform CPR, I do remember a few truly terrifying incidents (and I was paid to watch the pool). It is shocking how quickly something can happen and how easy it is to miss it.
    This definitely made me stop and think about ways I can keep myself and my little man safer everyday (the text thing seriously hit home).

  175. Hi Kate-

    I’m a long time lurker and I generally don’t comment on the internet about anything unless it is from the relative safety of my own Facebook page. But after reading what you and your family went through, it almost brought me to tears. I am so grateful that your story had a happy ending and that you have decided to get CPR training. I worked as a lifeguard as a teen at a very busy waterpark and I have had my hero moments with young children and I cannot stress how much I agree with you on every point you have made in this article. I am so glad that Clark has made a great recovery. Thank you for sharing your story.

  176. I listened to you guys at TOFW and had no clue what you’d been through. Thanks for sharing this. I just posted that fabulous article on facebook hoping inform as many I can as you did. That will be helpful to many I’m sure, so though it was personal, it may just save lives.

  177. Nobody has a right to post any comment that could be considered hurtful. I hope that doesn’t happen.

    My oldest son developed Reye’s Syndrome just before he turned 8 and suffered severely brain trauma. For a while he was at a rehabilitation hospital trying to re-learn some basic skills like eating by mouth instead of a stomach tube. One night one of the CNA made a remark that wounded me to the depth of my soul. She said, “Any mother who loved their child would have him at home not here.” Well, you know what? Love alone does not do it all. Sometimes we lack the skills to do what must be done.

    After we were able to bring Brent back home I was bathing him one night when I reached to my right for the bath towel hanging right there. In those mere seconds he slipped off the shower stool. He wasn’t hurt but I thought that I should be a better mother than to let him fall like that.

    We should all be striving to do out best. But accidents happen. And we must forgive ourselves as the Savior freely forgives us. So even if the outcome hadn’t been has wonderful as it was for your family, you would still need to forgive yourself.

    Bless you for sharing this story. We had shared and watched the video on silent drowning as an extended family. But having an “I know someone” experience now will make it a much better teaching tool.

    Ultimately the blessings we are given are the ones that are best for us in the eternal scope of our lives. Brent never walked or talked again and ate by mouth in only the most primitive of ways. Fourteen years he developed cancer and was allowed to return to his Heavenly Home. But thorough all of this I recognized many blessings. Brent not being healed was not a sign that God did not love us. He just had a different path for us. And as we walk whatever path we are given with our eyes on the prize of eternal life, we are winning.

    Best wishes to your family. We rejoice with you in your miracle.

  178. Kate, A similar incident happened to me. I took my 4 kids to a neighbors club house pool. I was nervous about my ability to watch all of my kids. My oldest wanted to be in the deep end and wanted me to watch his tricks the entire time. My daughter has seizures so she stayed in the kiddie pool. And I was busy keeping my eye on the others. My oldest wanted to me to watch him and in that moment, my daughter had a seizure in the kiddie pool. Several mothers were there watching her and unaware she was having a seizure and basically, she was drowning right in front of them! I turned and saw her and grabbed her out and luckily it was just in time. We were all so upset and left immediately. I wasn’t upset at these mothers since they had no idea my daughter had seizures, I was upset at myself for taking my eyes off of her even though it was just a short moment. Another example of how quickly things can happen and how people can be watching your child and not even know that they are drowning. I think I was shaking the rest of the day and vowed to never take all 4 kids with only me to supervise ever again! So thankful your story also had a happy ending. I love your cookbooks and so does my family! This incident happened many years ago and now that little girl who almost drowned is a senior in high school. I will never forget that day and neither will she.

  179. Thank you for sharing. As a mom of 5 busy children who are now grown and most are parents of their own busy children, things happen. My heart goes out to you for the experience that you’ve had. Hang in there, Kate! We moms all have our moments and I’m sorry that your moment was so public. As my own mother is fond of saying, “into each life, a little rain must fall”.

  180. God Bless You and your family. I am thankful that your little boy is okay and even more thankful that you decided to write this post. I know it couldn’t have been easy but think how many kids you will be able to save because the adults in their lives read your post and will now be extra cautious around water.

  181. Thank you for sharing this important story. I am sure it was hard to share. I wish I could hug you over cyberspace! Saying a prayer of thanksgiving that your guy is okay. It is really easy to think of a little older kid who can swim as pretty mature. My husband and I were just talking about our neighborhood pool and getting a membership this summer. I was thinking about whether or not I could take all three or ours, letting the 7 year old swim on his own in the somewhat deeper area and having the smaller two in the baby area, while I still kept an eye on the 7 year old. You’ve made me reconsider and probably a lot of other people in similar situations too. Bless you!

  182. God works in mysterious ways. I know that you and your family experienced something very scary, but I am certain that you helped to prevent another child from drowning by the information provided on your website. I will pray for you and your family.

  183. What a scary experience. As my little one is getting older, I have fears about pools and drowning because she loves water so much. Thank you for the tips. I definitely feel like I should go get certified for CPR again. I think I’ve had enough experience that I could come through in an emergency, but I’d rather be prepared! I’m so glad your little boy is ok and that you didn’t have a tragedy on your hands. Lots of virtual hugs being sent to you and your family!

  184. I follow you guys all the time, though I never comment. I had to comment on this post and say I’m so glad your son is OK, and thank you for sharing your story. Sometimes I don’t pay enough attention, sometimes I look away, and this could have happened to me too. I really hope you don’t get any horrible comments, people should use your story to remind them of what is important, not to tear people down.

  185. Oh, my goodness! I’m so glad he is ok. That is beyond scary! Thank you for sharing it. All parents need these reminders (myself included) and I’m just so relieved that your story has a happy ending.

  186. I just want to say thank you for reminding me to sign my lil ones up for swim lessons!! What you went through was terrifying…and I will be thinking of you and your family. I also think that your point about CPR/first aid classes is a great one. Also, take the refresher courses after you are certified…..it is amazing what changes and what we forget! Hugs to both your families 🙂

  187. thank you for being brave and sharing your story. So glad that things worked out the way they did and that Clark is safe. Definitely a good reminder for us all.

  188. Kate, I’m so glad your story has a happy and healthy outcome! We had an ER visit this week and you are so right that it only takes a second for a child to find himself in a predicament. It’s easy to feel horrible about “letting” these accidents happen but if we sheltered our kids so much that they never got hurt then what kind of life would they live? It’s all a matter of using these moments as teachable moments for them and the rest of us. Clark is beautiful and God must have a great plan for his life!

  189. Glad your babe is okay, thanks for sharing. Everyone should be CPR certified, so good for you for getting on that! I saw you two in Phoenix this weekend and I can’t tell you how grateful I am for what you shared. Thank you!

  190. This happened to me too. After my son’s (4) swimming lesson at a private home pool, the next lesson was beginning and he wanted to play in the jacuzzi connected to the pool for a couple of minutes. I didn’t realize he couldn’t touch. There were 2 swimming instructors in the pool and they didn’t notice it. He started to bob up and down a little bit. I thought he was just playing from where I was sitting. Luckily another mom noticed what was happening and ran over and saved him. So scary, and it is so so quiet.

  191. WOW, so glad he is ok!! That is super scary. Thanks goodness for the kindness of strangers and your friend’s CPR knowledge! I agree that all moms need to be extra cautious around water with their kids. You just never know. So glad this story had a happy ending!! 🙂

  192. Wow! Thank you for sharing. What a great reminder for anyone watching children near a pool. What a blessing that he is okay and doing well. Thank goodness for Greg listening to the Spirit and going swimming that night.

  193. Thanks for having the courage to share this very personal story and that terrific article on drowning. Two of my children are lifeguards, and after reading that article, their stories of pulling children out of the water right in front of watchful parents make sense now; the parents really had no idea how much trouble their children were in. I am so glad to hear that everything turned out well. You were so fortunate to be near PCMC too; they are the best!

  194. Thank you for sharing! I have thought of something like this happening to my kids. My oldest is 7, and my younger two are 2 and 2 years old. We live in St. George and have a community swimming pool. Because I’m so busy with my little ones I sometimes forget to watch my 7 year old. I appreciate you sharing your story even though it was personal and hard to help remind others to be careful. I’m so glad that your son is ok. Thanks again for sharing.

  195. Thank God for your little one being ok! And the reminders. I’m glad you chose to share as a teaching moment for us parents. Thank you.

  196. How many close calls have we avoided as mothers? This was a major one…and scary! I’m so glad for you everything turned out okay for Clark. I needed the reminder to brush up on my CPR skills. That had to be hard to post.

  197. Thank you for having the courage to share. Your story is a wake up call for me as I’m trying to learn the balance of giving my oldest more independence and still making sure he is safe. What a blessing that your son is okay. I hope you can recover from the emotional pain soon. God bless you.

  198. I always share this story when the subject of pools or drowning comes up:

    As you said, drowning is very quiet and silent. There is no splashing and yelling of “help!!” like in the movies.

    One summer we were at my friend’s pool, lounging on the steps while my 3 and 6 year old were quietly playing within arm’s reach. My sister and I were chatting happily when out of the corner of my eye I saw my 6 year old daughter move VERY rapidly toward her sister, who had quietly slipped off the stairs into water over her head. She had been under for maybe 5-10 seconds at the most, and luckily came up sputtering and crying. I felt horrible for being RIGHT THERE and yet still not noticing it was happening. Something I did notice was how quickly and quietly she slipped under (therefore none of us noticed but her older sister, who happened to look up and notice she was under). The other thing that struck me is I wonder how long would it have taken for us to notice (had the 6yr old not stepped in). After all, it was the rapid movement of my 6 year old that even caused me to look up.

    So now I try to teach and tell people that drownings are the not the loud, splashing, gurgling events that we think they are; they are very quiet and still. Hugs to you and your family and thank you for sharing your story!

  199. Thanks for sharing. It helped my remember that my big kids aren’t that big yet. It made me think about things that I do that I need to change and things that I need to prepare for. I am so glad that it all worked out.

  200. My heart is racing as I read this! How terrifying! I’m so glad that all is well. I’ve had a few scary moments like that as a parent, though not as serious, and it is the most horrible feeling in the world. Thank you for sharing your story and your advice is so helpful. My oldest is also 7 and I’ve been feeling like she’s such a big kid now and that is a good reminder that she is still a little kid in many ways.

  201. Thank you for sharing your story. It is an important lesson to remember about water safety. I’m thankful your son is ok and that Heavenly Father put the right people in place to help you when you needed it. Keep being the great mom that you are.

  202. I was at your Salt Lake TOFW appearance, and I am heartbroken that this happened to your son. Glad he is recovering well. After my own children were in elementary school, I was in a shopping mall with a young mother pushing her child in a stroller. She saw another young mother with a baby in a backpack and a toddler with a leash on him. She was so disgusted that he was “leashed like a dog” and asked if I didn’t agree that it was deplorable. I asked her if she had ever lost a child, one who wondered off. She said no. I said “With more than one child, you will, and after you do, call me. THEN AND ONLY THEN will we have this conversation!” I pity any woman who God hears unjustly criticizing another mother; it ALWAYS come back around to bite her in the behind. I am sure we are all grateful that he is alright and don’t blame you. It happens.

  203. We have twin boys and when they were about 6? they were going down a slide at a Wisconsin Dells indoor water park slide. We had a rule each kid would wait until they had eye contact with us and we did thumbs up before they entered the top of the tube. Then we’d know to move in closer to help them get out of the 5ft deep part of the pool. My husband would lift that one to the side and the other one would come and we’d just do it over and over. I think the pool got busier and we just missed one of the boys. Our eyes just did not see him shoot out of the tube so we didn’t look Under the water. Another boy probably young teen age did see him – thank goodness! He was nearly out of the pool before we saw him and there were two adults for two kids… We felt stupid and couldn’t believe it could happen right in front of us. I have also since learned about situational blindness where you can miss something you are even looking at. So glad he is well and I hope your story will help us all be more cautious and get our kids prepared to be strong themselves too. Thanks!

  204. So thankful for your son and for you and your family that it all turned out ok. Thank you for sharing your experience with others in an effort to remind us all how quickly an accident can happen.

  205. Oh my goodness Kate! What a trial this must have been for your family. I am so glad everything worked out and that Clark is okay. Pools can be so scary. I can tell by the way this post is written that you are a great Mom. This could happen to any of us. It happens in just a moment. I am one of the Mom’s that thoroughly enjoyed listening to you speak when you were here in Salt Lake so thank you for blessing my life with your words. Best of luck to you!

  206. Oh I am so sorry. What a horrific thing to go through. That teenager is a neighbor of mine- I am glad things turned out ok. I have always wanted to take a CPR class and after reading this I am signing up NOW. Thank you!

  207. I’m so glad everything turned out well for all of you. While I’m not overly religious I do believe in Angels.I’m sure your son had a Guardian Angel looking out for him that day! Good luck to all of you!!

  208. So happy to hear your son is doing well. As a mom of three, I always appreciate heartfelt, genuine advice. Thank you for sharing your story with us. God Bless!

  209. I just wanted to echo all the other comments. I’m so glad he is okay and I appreciate your courage in telling about it. I wondered last week when you mentioned not being ready to share something for fear of rude comments. So even though I’m not saying anything different than any one else, I wanted to make sure you knew that there are lots of people out there who appreciate you and love your blog and want the best for you. And I pray no one dared leave a rude comment.

  210. Wow — that is heavy. I’m sure it took a lot of courage to write this post, and like so many others who have commented, I appreciate you sharing it. Your points are so true and are important reminders. I was relieved to read that your son is okay.

  211. How terrifying! I’m so grateful Clark is okay. Thank you for sharing this story. I hope you will keep in touch with Greg. He seems like a wonderful young man.

  212. Wow, I am so glad he is okay! And no one should ever judge you for what happened- accidents happen and luckily this one turned out okay. I applaud you for sharing and making others aware of the dangers- it’s easy to forget the dangers of the water and swimming, especially as children get older. I think your tips are great, and again I am so so so glad he is okay!

  213. Thank you so much for sharing this story………I can’t begin to imagine what you went through. I have no doubt that you HAVE helped everyone who reads this to keep a closer eye on children around water; it doesn’t have to be your own child. We have a backyard pool and we love to have friends and relatives over but we can never be relaxed about the situation. A tragedy can happen in seconds. Thank you again and I’m so glad your little boy is okay.

  214. Even paranoid parents can’t prevent every possible accident. I can’t see how anyone could make ugly comments about this, it’s not like you were encouraging dangerous behavior, or anything like that. At the risk of sounding a little “silly”, you may want to look into finding someone your son can talk to about his experience. I mean, like someone who had a near death experience as a kid–kids’ experiences are usually a bit different from the ones adults have. (I had an NDE in the water at about 6-7 years old and I never really told anyone) He may have a lot of strange feelings to navigate if he did have an NDE, in addition to post-traumatic feelings of the accident itself. Take care 🙂

  215. Any troll who would dare say something mean to you about this deserves to be kicked in the teeth. This is a horrifying thing to have to go through and I am so thankful it turned out the best way possible! Accidents happen, mistakes happen and I am just so grateful that Clark is okay! Hugs to you all, and here’s hoping your next pool trip is less eventful!

  216. So happy for your positive outcome. We’ve all been there, so don’t beat yourselves up about this. Each of us escapes tragedy by a hair many times in our lifetimes. We all love you and your column. God bless you all.

  217. Things like that take a long time to get over. Constantly thinking “what if” and how can I avoid it in the future. But you’re right, it can happen any time to anyone. Thank you for sharing. It’s a good reminder for all of us.

  218. I’m so glad your son is alright. These things happen amazingly fast and I’m glad you had a good outcome. My sister used to walk right down the steps and across into the water and just hang out under the water all the time as a toddler. I can’t count how many times I had to jump in after her and we were watching at all times. The child had no fear and all it took was looking the other direction for when someone else came in the gate.

    Thank you for you sharing. I am sure it will save others.

  219. Oh Kate, I’m so sorry that you and your family had to go through that experience. I can only imagine the fear you must have felt. I am relieved to hear that Clark has recovered physically. It may take some time emotionally for him to heal. My son was attacked by a neighbor’s dog this summer, and it was traumatic for all of us, knowing that he could have been mauled to death by the dog in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, my son is a dog lover, and I don’t think the attack will change that for him, but he is more cautious around strange dogs and rottweilers. Hopefully, Clark will not have a life long fear of the water, but will overcome the accident, and move forward.

    Hugs to you and your family!

  220. What an experience! One that most parents never want to go through, I’m sure. My heart goes out to you and your family, and I’m so glad that things worked out the way they did.
    I teared up multiple times reading your post. Every mother’s nightmare is having something happen to her child, whether she was right there or not. And thank goodness for the teenager who was there, what a miracle!
    Thank you for sharing, even though it was extremely difficult, it touched me, and really helped me realize how fragile life is.

  221. Thank you for sharing such a personal and heart wrenching story about your family. I don’t live in the area, so hadn’t heard the story prior to your post. When I watched that news clip that you included, I got goosebumps. That boy that saved your son was like an angel sent to the pool to do just that (especially after hearing that he could have gone to the dance). Thank you too for sharing the tips about water safety, so many people don’t realize just how dangerous pools/lakes/bathtubs can be.

  222. My heart totally goes out to you and your sweet little boy! I’m so happy he’s okay! A similar thing happened to my brother when he was very little. I still have vague memories of it. Scary stuff. I hope he recovers quickly and fully and learns to enjoy swimming again someday!

  223. I remember once when my toddler was choking and my hubby said, ‘but he wasn’t making any noise!’. 🙂 it’s the quiet things that are serious. I am so very thankful that he is ok. What a horrible thing to experience! Bless you and your family!!!!!

  224. I almost lost my son in a crazy moment of being on vacation, being lost, and each parent thinking the other one ‘had him.’ I hear stories where the ending didn’t turn out so well for their child and I don’t totally understand why my son was saved but so many aren’t. I don’t think a reminder like this could ever go awry. Thank you for sharing.

  225. I am so sorry you had to go through that, and am glad your son is okay. I can only imagine what you were and are putting yourself through in your own head. Don’t what if yourself, you are obviously a great mom, and unfortunately accidents happen, thank god it wasn’t his time! Thank you for educating people on the dangers of swimming and the importance of CPR. As a former lifeguard, and now a physical therapist, ive seen up close the ramifications of drowning , and it’s serious and scary.

  226. Thank you so much for sharing. Learning CPR used to scare me. Then I met my husband and realized that either I learn it and still be scared (that kind of medical stuff just is scary to me period) or one day may need to know it and not know what to do. We both took a class 3 weeks ago in a program through our city’s fire department. They are pushing an initiative to get as many people in our city to learn CPR as possible and it only cost $5 for both of us. Going to the Red Cross can be very expensive, so if you are looking for a lower cost alternative, see if your city’s departments (fire, police, etc) are doing any programs.

  227. Your story brought tears to my eyes even 8 years later. My 2 year old (now 10) fell in my parents pool during my daughter’s first communion party. 11 of us on the pool deck and other kids swimming. Luckily, we didn’t have to perform CPR but it rocked me to my core with the “what ifs”. My older children had taken lessons from a certified Infant Swimming Research instructor and Sam was on his first week of lessons. These lessons truly saved his life! It is a very intensive program but the philosophy is that you must teach children to find the side of the pool and teach them how to always stay horizontal so it is easier to stay on top of the water. Had he sunk under water, like most drownings, my mother in law would have never seen him as she was the one who jumped first. When I got to him he was searching for his wall and completely horizontal in the water. Check it out if you want more information: http://www.infantswim.com/ Also, after that incident my mom initiated a rule at her pool. One adult wore a whistle around their neck. The person with the whistle knew that they were on duty. No chatting it up, no answering their phone, no going to the bathroom. If you needed to do any of that you transferred the necklace to someone else who in turn would not take their eyes off the pool until their short stint was over. It was a great rule that I have passed on to so many friends with little ones. So happy that your son is safe. Thanks for such a wonderful blog and for having the courage to share your story.

  228. Two summers ago my so, who was 5 at the time, walked out to a place in the shallow end where it was a little too deep. Saw him go under water and thought he’d pop back up but he didn’t. He just stayed under and when I realized he wasn’t coming back up, panic struck and I, almost instinctively, plucked him out of the water. He coughed up water and began to cry. I didn’t know until that point that drowning was a silent activity. He wasn’t flailing under water he was just there- stunned. I didn’t intellectually know what was happening until after I lifted him out of the water. Then as the realization dawned I began to shake. This can happen easily & I was watching him. The only thing I knew was that he’d been under water too long for his usual way of playing. After that experience, I read up on drowning & found out its nothing like you see on tv. It can & often is silent. I’m so glad your son is alright. I’m sorry you had that happen to him & all of you. It’s so, so scary. You’re doing a wonderful service by bringing this information to everyone’s mind. I worry when I go to the pools and see my friends chatting with each other, not looking into the pool, because I know how it feels to be confident about your child’s swimming abilities and to see it all go wrong anyway. My live & support to you all.

  229. Wow!! As a mom of 6 (will be 7 in January) I know all too well how just a teeny, tiny moment could forever change my life. I’m so glad your moment turned out well. I am so aware of the fact that all my kids are here only because our Heavenly Father doesn’t need them on the other side yet. VERY grateful for that and that things worked out fine for you, even if it was super scary!

  230. Thank you for sharing this. As a former lifeguard, I can’t stress to parents enough the need for swimming lessons, so thank you for posting this as a tangible reminder of how quick things can happen. It takes a courageous person to share a personal story like this, so thank you. You just may have saved a life yourself!

  231. Wow. What a scary experience. Thanks for sharing your story, and the resources about what drowning looks like. A good thing for any parent to know. I am so so glad things turned out well!

  232. Oh Kate! It’s the worst! My 2-year-old fell in TWICE this summer. Once because he was pushed and once because he fell. We were all in the pool, he has had swimming lessons and he was being watched by numerous adults and it STILL happened. I was able both times to quickly swim to his rescue. But nothing can describe the horror you feel when it happens. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Thank you for your bravery in sharing this. It’s a message we all need to hear!

  233. Glad to hear that he is doing well & everyone is ok. Life can change in an instant & I am glad for the reminder. I am going to brush up on my CPR especially with a new baby due in 7 weeks.

  234. Thank you Kate for sharing your story. You are a good mother and I’m so sorry you had to endure this pain. I am thankful Clark is OK! It’s a reminder for us all, accidents happen in an instant. All the Best to you and your family!

  235. I hope you don’t beat yourself up. We have all been there. I have nine children and I know it is a miracle we aren’t at the ER every day! Life happens, accidents happen. I appreciate the time you took to put yourself out there, which is never easy, and share your story so that someone might be touched or influenced and perhaps prevent the same thing from happening to them. I am so happy that it ended well. Thank Heaven for those angels that are sent to protect us and our children. I hope we will get to see one day all that was prevented or that we were spared because of a prompting someone received or a guardian angel that was sent to us. Enjoy your Holidays with your beautiful family and friends and know that you are loved!

  236. I don’t know what to say, except I had to stop reading and take a break for the tears to clear.
    I have found myself relaxing too much for my own comfort with my own 7 year old son due to his younger sister needing more attention and his increasing independence.
    Thank you for sharing your terrifying experience about water safety.
    Thank God your little Clark fully recovered, though we as parents, not so much.

  237. Bless you and Clark and your whole family. I was at Time Out For Women in Salt Lake and heard you and Sara speak. You were so inspirational and funny and I felt like you were two of my best girlfriends sharing stories of your sweet families. Thank you for giving your time away from your family to be with us. I am so sorry that it ended with such a life-altering accident. A friend of mine lost her sweet 4 year old in a pool just a few short weeks ago, surrounded by friends and family, it just took a second. He was also taken to primary’s, but he was not as lucky as little Clark. He has another job on the other side of Heaven. May God bless and keep all our little ones safe and may we never take a single second for granted. Thank you for sharing your story.

    1. My friend who watched my daughter during TOFW that Saturday is also friends with that family–she couldn’t believe that there were 2 incidents so close with people she knew. So, so, so tragic.

  238. Oh, my goodness. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so, so thankful that your little guy is OK. Totally tearing up over here. With regards to your comment about being extra vigilant, as I was backing out of the driveway today to run errands, I stopped and ran back in the house to turn off the dryer. I heard my mom’s voice in my head telling me not to be foolish–better safe than sorry! LOL! On a more serious note, it’s hard for me to go swimming with friends and their families because they tend to find me neurotic. I’ve read about how silent drowning can be and how quickly it happens. I also read an article that suggests appointing one adult to be the designated “pool watcher” at all times. That person doesn’t to ANYTHING but watch the pool for a 15 minute shift; then someone else takes over. However, I can’t find anyone else who thinks that is necessary, so I end up being the designated watcher for the whole time. :-/ Better safe than sorry! xoxo

  239. I’m so glad Clark is okay! My son slipped under the water this summer as well-in a heartbeat-but was okay. I agree that everyone should take a CPR class and I’m glad you had the strength of heart to post something so obviously difficult! Hugs from the Heartland!

  240. You sweet sister: You are sooooo NORMAL! ((Hugs!)) Glad to hear it turned out so well. And, Yes, he needs to get back in the pool someday! Thank you for sharing.

  241. You and your family our in my thoughts and prayers. Big way to go for Greg – so tired of hearing about youth gone wrong – shining example of youth doing amazing things!! Thank you, Greg. May you and your family find peace again.

  242. So sad and scary! what a traumatic event for everyone! You are right..it could have happened to anyone! It is so scary being a mom sometimes.. I’m sorry that you all had such a big scare but so so glad that miracles took place and your little boy is okay! So BLESSED! Thanks for sharing all the advice on drowning and helping us to be more aware.

  243. Glad that all worked out okay for your family. My son once fell off a float board in the pool. I was pushing the board through the water for him, so was literally right there. He went under and didn’t move — no call out, kicks or splashing. There was so little reaction that I thought he was trying to pull a prank, but he wasn’t. I had to scoop him out. There was no real danger since I was there to scoop him out, but it was a great lesson in what a drowning really looks like. Won’t ever forget. Thanks for sharing your story, and big hugs!

  244. I’m so glad your son is ok. When I started reading this post I got chills because I remember watching the news story about the amazing young man that saved a little boy, and thinking he truly was prompted to be at that place and at that time. I remember the story said that the young man was planning to go to a dance, but felt like he needed to go swimming instead. Wow…I’m so glad everything turned out ok, and that your little boy was being watched over.

  245. I’m so sorry this happened to you. Please don’t feel like you need to explain yourself to ANYONE, as this was a terrible, nightmarish accident. An accident. Caution and watchfulness are so important, but the fact is you just can’t sit and stare at your kids without blinking every minute of the day. Nobody did anything wrong. I’m glad the people were there who could help and I’m glad your little boy is okay.

    I hope nobody says anything nasty to you in this terrible situation. I’m also going to look for a CPR class in my area. Thanks for your bravery in telling us your eye-opening story.

  246. I can’t imagine having a rude or negative response to this. I was so touched by your openness and the love that you are showing your readers. The fact that you would share such a personal, upsetting, and obviously overwhelming story shows the character that you have. I am pregnant with my first child, a boy, and this touched me so deeply. I am so thankful your son is ok and that you are all ok. Please don’t beat yourself up about this. I know I’m the type of person that will hold on to regrets and think of what ifs. Just remember that this situation was truly a “God Moment.” Love and blessings!

  247. I am so sorry you had to experience this, but know first hand what an eye opening experience it is! My sister saved my sons life, just as he was noticed going down the slope of the deep end. We didn’t know how long he had been under, but like yourself, I was standing there poolside also!! My son was 5 years old at the time. We put him and his two younger sisters in swimming lessons right away!! I will be forever thankful to my sister for her quick thinking and for saving his life!! I’m happy to report he will be turning 18 soon and graduating at the top of his class!!

  248. this was SO good for me to read. i’ve been the mom who assumes that her kid is perfectly safe to swim off with a floatie as long as they stay in the shallow end. this puts a whole new perspective on things. i’m SO glad your son is alright.

  249. Kate, thank you for sharing your story. We all need to be reminded how fast things can happen to our loved ones. My husband got into trouble on a snorkling trip and I almost panic sometimes when I let myself think about that day on a beautiful vacation in Hawaii. God bless you for sharing your story.

  250. Kate, I am so sorry to hear about your families trial. I am so happy that your little one is Okay. It was so brave of you to post this story so that you could help others be more aware. Thank you.

  251. Oh, my goodness, it takes my breath away to think about this and I’m not his mother . . . So sorry you had to go through this, but SO glad all is well! And not only do these posts remind us to be safe, they also remind us to cherish our babies. Thanks.

  252. OMG! How awful! My son did the same thing (jumping up & down) and hit the slope. Thankfully, I was sitting right there and threw him one end of a towel & dragged him to the side of the pool. Scared BOTH of us. My husband and I took CPR classes about 30 years ago and have never (thank God) had to use that knowledge! EVERYONE SHOULD TAKE CPR CLASSES! Take the time & do it now. You won’t regret it. Blessings on you and your family!

  253. I also have to say thank you for posting this. We all need reminders on occasion that these things can happen when we least expect them and we can’t keep an eye on our children 24 hours a day, even though we would like to. My 15 year old would try and hurt me if I did! I will also say that when I was kid, I also had a panicked swimming incident. I jumped into the swimming pool and jumped to a part that was a tad higher than I was comfortable with and completely panicked. My older brother who was near grabbed me and pulled me up, so no heart stopping or anything, but it means that no matter how close people are, accidents can happen. Please, don’t blame yourself for what happened, or what almost happened. (I am saying that, because I know I would whether I deserved any blame or not.)

  254. I love that you couragesly batteled through this post, Bless your heart, our family is full of dare devils and we have had a few life changing moments, and seriously thats what they are. We were sent on this earth to have moments, and that is what this was a moment for the Heros and that includes you Mom as well as Clark. These are the lessons that will change our journeys for the good or for the bad. and it sounds to me that everyone included are Heros, May God bless each of you for your roles, and help you to feel the love and peace that is instore for those moments in life.

  255. Thank you so much for posting this. My oldest son is also 7, and I know how easily this could happen. He is our big boy, and with a toddler running around, he is not the one I am concerned about watching closely. I cannot imagine how frightening this was for you, but reading this will cause me to be more cautious next time we are in a pool. I am always in the vicinity, but I don’t watch as closely as I should.

    Oh, and for those who have something nasty to say, there has to be so much hate and judgment in their hearts, that they have to be miserable people. Tragedies can happen to anyone.

    Thank your for your candor about this, and God bless you and your family.

  256. Who would leave a rude comment to that? Thanks for sharing your experience. I hope all my children (the parents of my grandchildren!) read this. We all follow your blog, so I’m sure they will. We all need a reminder of how quickly these things can happen. That must have been so hard to get through, but I am so glad your little guy is okay!

  257. Thanks for sharing. I know how hard it is to share a deeply personal story, but I know it has started me thinking. I am going to look into some CPR classes now :). So glad you had a happy ending !!!! Thanks again.

  258. Oh Kate! How scary! I am so glad he is ok. I know the Mom guilt as high right now, but it will fade. My son swallowed a button battery just over a year ago, when I was in the same room as he was – it only takes a second! Thankfully my son is ok and I’ve forgiven myself. Thank you for sharing

  259. I don’t know you, but I love you. Accidents happen ALL THE TIME. It is so hard for us Mommas not to blame ourselves, or others, or to not be paranoid and wrap our kids in bubble wrap…(how much would a toddler size and newborn sized roll be??). Praying for you and your family (and all us with littles) to remember that God loves them even more than we do and He is always in control.

  260. I’m a nurse in the PICU at Primary’s and before I had kids I always thought parents were just negligent. Now that I have kids I can attest to the fact that things just happen quickly! Even the best of parents can’t watch their kids every second of the day. I’m so glad that everything turned out well for you! I’m so sorry that you guys had to go through that and I commend you for putting yourself out there for possible criticism in the hopes of saving other lives.

  261. How scary! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Thank you for posting and for helping to make people aware that it can happen so very fast, much faster than you’d expect.

  262. Absolutely my worst nightmare! I can’t even begin to imagine what you were/are feeling, but know that you are being thought of. Even the most attentive parents cannot protect their children every second of every day (although I have seriously thought of looking a protective bubble for my girls, haha!).

  263. I was in tears reading this. Thank God your little one is ok and there isn’t anything wrong with him. I am keeping both of your families in my prayers. The fight has been won, now it’s the war on fear you have to worry about.

    I teach CPR and I cannot stress how important it is to know CPR even if you don’t think you need to know it.

  264. I thank you for sharing this powerful story. I was also in the position of saving a young boy from drowning at a hotel. It was 2 summers ago and I was in the pool reading and not paying attention to much else going on. I was right at the edge of the 5 ft area where it began to slope down to the deep end. Suddenly I heard this gasping noise behind me and realized a young boy had gotten himself in trouble. Luckily I was able to get to him and get him to safety. His parents were no where to be found. The little boy’s sister ran upstairs to get his parents. Neither one of those children were old enough to be using the pool without supervision.

    I am so thankful that your son is safe and well. Things can go badly so quickly. Blessings to you and you and your family.

  265. This blog post brought me to tears, because it brought back such vivid memories of when the same thing happened to me, years ago when I was 5. I slipped off an inner tube and went under quietly, with none of the thrashing and “surfacing 3 times” nonsense they show in movies. Drowning is quiet, and your body locks up so quickly, you are literally unable to help yourself, even if you have the presence of mind to think rationally about what you need to do. I had trouble with ear infections and bronchial issues for years after my drowning incident, and had a terrible phobia about being in the water. I would experience panic attacks, even in a bathtub with only a few inches of water. As an adult, I’ve forced myself to take years of swimming lessons, determined to be able to save my kids if something should ever happen to them, but still, I can barely swim the width of a pool, and I cannot tread water AT ALL. Many lifeguards and coaches have commented that they have never seen anyone less buoyant. Prayin that your sweet boy will overcome this experience. Thank you for having the courage to share this! As a parent, it would be my nightmare.

  266. Thank you for sharing this harrowing experience. What a scary event for all of you. I’m so glad your little Clark is okay. This is excellent advice for everyone. Though it was many years ago, I know firsthand the tragedy of losing a family member to drowning. I am so thankful your story had a good ending. All my best to everyone involved. Hugs.

  267. I know you have 5 gazillion comments…and with how busy life can get, I’m not sure you’ll even get to see this one. But, I’m leaving it anyway. Just in case. 🙂

    I am so glad you posted about this. I definitely see OBB as a community–and I think what you have to say here is so important to that community. Many of us are mothers, aunts, sisters, friends, etc. who may some day find ourselves in this same situation. I have no doubt that your experience is going to change a life for the better in the future. With thousands of people following OBB, it can’t NOT have an effect.

    I also have no doubt that it wasn’t that those people “happened” to be there that night. I often feel like Heavenly Father waits for certain circumstances to come together to allow us to experience what we need to experience. Those times are such an indicator to me of God’s love. I hope you’re feeling that in spite of all of those feelings of guilt and “what ifs” that I’m sure must race in from time to time.

    Also, I just have to tell you that I’m in Stephanie and Peter’s ward–and I can definitely see that your kids have a resemblance to their cousins! 🙂 Thanks again for sharing.

  268. Oh you dear, swee mama. I cannot even imagine how scared you must have been I am so glad that God was watching over your little boy and that he is safe and sound. Thank you for sharing your story so that the rest of us mothers can be more cautious.

  269. I sure hope that no one has had any negative comments as accidents are just that…accidents. Thank you for your willingness to share this story as I am sure that many other accidents may be prevented because of it. My God Bless you and your families for they joy and awesome food that you have brought to my family. Warmest Aloha from Maui.

    Amy

  270. My heart aches for you. I cannot imagine a more terrifying situation to be in. Thank goodness for the tender mercies, right? 🙂 Glad your son is doing well.

  271. Honestly. Anyone who would even think of leaving a rude comment after reading this post is definitely not a mom, or a parent, or even a good person (for that matter). My son is nearly 11 months and the trauma of letting him ‘cry it out’ while sleep training literally scarred me, so I can’t even begin to imagine all that you and your family endured in navigating this accident and the aftermath. Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story – I just registered for the next available CPR course in my area (on December 1st) because I need a refresher and your story pushed me to knock this ‘to do’ off my never ending list. As everyone has said, I am sincerely so happy that Clark survived and is doing well. Virtual hugs galore. And then some.

  272. I believe every family has had a close call or two in their lives involving their children. I’m so grateful that your son is fine, what a great blessing to all of you. Thank you for sharing this difficult story!

  273. Wow, Sara. I was shaking as I read your post. What a scary thing to go through as a parent! 🙁 If there’s anything I’m afraid of its my kids choking or drowning (or getting badly burned). Something I’m always scared of! As I know I’ve mentioned before, one of my husbands brothers drowned at 21 so that makes it even more of a fear because we actually have a family member who died that way. I’m so sorry you had to go through such an awful thing, but I’m also SO glad that everything ended up being ok!! After I read how he is fine now I said a prayer of thanks to God that he is alive & well! That really is a miracle! 🙂 Blessing to your family & thank you for sharing your heart with us and reminding us how important it is to be careful (especially where our children are concerned).

  274. We had a very similar situation happen with our youngest boy a couple years ago. Reading this brought back all those emotions and images. I will never, ever forget seeing him floating under that water. Horrendous. (he’s totally fine now, although I still panic a teeny bit every time we go swimming!) I’m so, so sorry you had to go through this but thank you for sharing your story!

  275. Good for you for sharing what could really happen to anyone. Thanks for writing about the real part of life and not just the pretty part. Now I like you even more!

  276. It’s wonderful that everyone, especially Clark, is alright. We, too, have had two water incidents with our son. My husband and I both know CPR (because he coaches youth tackle football and I spent 20 yrs in the US Air Force). Fortunately, neither one of us has ever had to perform it on anyone other than Annie…You were blessed that you had someone there who knew how to do it. Kids are kids and adults get distracted. My son was 25′ away from me when I watched him fall off a dock into the water. I fished him out by his ankle. He didn’t have to go to the hospital and I didn’t make a big deal out of it in front of him. Today, at 7, he swims like a fish and can even go the length of our pool underwater. Good for you in telling Clark that he needs to go back in the water at some point. We were living on our boat and the last think I wanted to do was let our son become afraid of the water. Fortunately, that hasn’t happened. Saying prayers for all of you.

  277. You’re right that WAS very hard to read, bless your heart! I’m so sorry that happened. Thank goodness there were so many blessings involved!

  278. I just want to clarify I meant it was “hard to read” because it’s so scary to think of the what might have beens, and I think 99% of moms who let their kids swim have had close calls.

  279. Oh, my goodness, you poor thing! I cannot imagine what you’ve been through. I think every mother can relate though to getting distracted, even just for a second. I am so, so glad that your son is okay. I hope you are too. Sometimes these things are more traumatic for the mom than the child. You were all definitely being watched over that night. As a side note, boy, I bet you love your brother in law now! 😉 Thanks so much for sharing your story and making each of us think twice about the things we do daily. I hope you find comfort.

  280. Just a month ago my sister’s friend was on a vacation and her husband was at the gym. Their little boy was being supervised by a grandparent. They suddenly noticed that the little boy was missing and found him submerged in the pool in the backyard. They did not know how long he was underwater. The hospital kept the little boy on life support until the mom could catch a flight back home to see him. The next morning, he died. It is a very sad situation that can go wrong so fast and I am so happy to hear that your little boy is fine.

  281. I’m so glad that all of you are alright – it must have been a horrifying time. Anybody who would make a negative comment has no idea how easily such things can happen even to the most vigilant parents.

    I believe that you have probably saved lives by sharing your story and giving all the extra information that you did. At a time like this, it would have been easy to just move on but you’ve chosen to put your story out there for the benefit of others. Thank you for doing that on behalf of the other kids who will make it because of you.

    If there’s a ‘hero award’ we can nominate that young man for (or vote for if he’s been nominated), please let us know. He obviously was sent there that night for a reason.

  282. What a terrifying experience you went through. So glad your son is ok. Don’t beat yourself up over what happened (or blame yourself). You took a scary situation and turned it into a teaching moment for a lot of moms who are just like you. Give that boy an extra hug and be grateful for the blessing he is. First thing I required my teen daughter to do in order to babysit was take a CPR class through The Red Cross. It could be the difference between life and death.
    Bless you.

  283. Thanks for being brave and sharing your story. I’m so glad Clark is ok! Anyone with kids knows that accidents happen~ we can all use a reminder to be more cautious.

  284. I think you’re both awesome moms who love your kids and really go out of your way to make their lives special. I’m so glad all turned out well and you’ll have CPR training in case you ever need to save someone in need.

  285. I’m only going to say this once young lady, stop beating yourself up over this. I suspect that you are your own worst enemy on this. Going down the “what if” path isn’t a productive use of time.

  286. Sorry to hear about such a scary event, but glad that everyone is doing well! Thank you for sharing your story so that another family does not have to go through such a terrifying ordeal.

  287. Kate,
    I applaude you.
    For many reasons, but mainly, I was that child once.
    In a pool, surrounded by love and attention. Then the unthinkable happens, accidents happen.
    Surviving, obviously, but not enabled by strong parents who grasp the reality of how an accident can effect their child for life. I have been plagued by my desire to be in and of the water, (hello, I live in Maui), yet clutched in fear of drowning or mostly, not trusting my ability to swim. Reading your message I rejoiced in your list of key elements for raising children around water. #3, especially, supervision is not a substitution for swim skills. Yes, this is so critical! Re-engage his belief in his OWN ability to swim. This was never established for me. “Guess she will never be a swimmer” was the answer for my family. Wrong!! As an adult, with 3 children, surrounded by the glory of the ocean, I crave the beach yet harbor small twinges of fear. Fear that peaks it ugly head into the foreground of my thinking once in awhile. But not just for water…the fear strikes with occasional anxiety of new things, tickling my mind with trusting myself and my ability. It took a long time for me to learn to recognize this anxiety and where it came from. Some moments in our children’s lives, while they may seem only a physical trauma, do have an impact that is unseen.

    I so greatly applaude your scope and dedication to your children. Thank you so much!

    Your ability to share the story and compartmentalize it enough to share and help us all learn from it is such a blessing! You are being his advocate in more ways than may be measured from this moment.

    Lifting you up in prayer…blessed by what you share!
    mahalo nui loa

  288. I am so sorry you had to go through such a terrifying ordeal. I had chill bumps on my arms and tears in my eyes reading your story. Thank you for sharing. I am so very happy Clark is doing just fine (even though a bit shaken still, I’m sure).

  289. Thank you for sharing this story. Its amazing how God puts the right people in the right place when we need them to be. It has been so long since I have had CPR training, I’m going to go sign up right now. I would feel just terrible if I didn’t listen to your story and get myself prepared. I’m happy that he is doing well.

  290. What a terrifying accident! My heart stopped just reading that, I can’t imagine how it must have been for you going through it!

    I was IN a pool with my son last year. He’s a little younger, but I was right there and right next to him. He managed to do something similar – just bounced off and into the deep end. I didn’t hear him or see him. Luckily DH happened to be facing him (on the other side of the pool) and quickly grabbed him out. He was fine and had only been under for a moment, but still – it could have easily gone the other way.

    I do know CPR, but have never used it, and it’s been a couple of years. Thanks for the reminder to brush up on my skills.
    (and I’m SO SO glad your son is OK!!)

  291. I could (very fairly) be labeled as an overprotective mom, yet we had a very similar experience with one of our boys 5 years ago. I still think about it and it still scares me to death. Take deep breaths, pray, and have a circle of friends/family who you know will pray constantly and consistently for you. Your little man will probably be over the episode before you will. 🙂

  292. I know I posted this on your FB, but this has truly, truly given me a water-safety wake-up call. My oldest is also a rule-following 7-year-old, and I know I haven’t supervised her as closely as I could. I will be better from now on because you had the courage to share your story.

    I’m so glad Clark is okay. Though I don’t know you IRL, I know you are a wonderful mother and Clark is lucky to have you.

  293. Kate, I am so sorry that you had to go through something so frightening. Heavenly Father was truly watching out for you and your family that night. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us and for the reminder to be more watchful in all the things we do. I am so glad that Clark is doing okay and that there was a happy ending to this story. You must be a very special person for Heavenly Father to test you in such a traumatic manner. I am sorry for the lingering fright that you all are going through. My heart and prayers are with you.

  294. Wow. So happy to hear that Clark is ok. I hope that I can post a link to this post for all of my students and their parents to read, as well as print it off to have at my pool. I run a Red Cross Swim School here in Northern BC, Canada. As well, as a lifeguard who has performed rescues, it is so nice to hear a happy ending to this story. I’ve been a faithful OBB reader for years and LOVE your cookbooks, but this post pulls at my heart strings like no other. Thank you for this. You will save lives, as readers will enroll their children in lifesaving swimming lessons, remember these valuable safety tips and hopefully learn CPR themselves! Thank you!

  295. I’m sitting here in tears reading your post. Just the thought of that experience makes my chest get all tight and tears in my eyes. I’m so sorry you had to experience that, but I’m so happy to hear everyone is ok.

    I had a similar but no where near as serious incident with one of my girls. She was about 6 1/2 ish and we were at a pool party with the girl scout troop and the girls had been swimming and eating for a while. I had hawk eyes on the pool for the first bit, but with 3 kids of my own (one being a baby) and other moms to talk to my hawk eyes got a little lazy. I was chatting when I heard the yell for help. It was my daughter clinging to the side of the pool in a panic. I did read the article and now realize she wasn’t near drowning, but at the time it was so scary. One of the other little girls had grabbed on to my daughters back to ride like she does with her dad. Of course my little 6 year old couldn’t do that and was pulled under for a few seconds. She grabbed the side and got herself up to yell for help. Scariest and most guilt ridden experience of my life. I just can’t imagine how you must have felt.

    Again…so sorry you had to experience this. I will be sharing it with my friends and keep this in mind when near water with my girls. The two older ones are on a swim team but a reminder that strong swimming isn’t always enough when they don’t have that maturity level. You just might save someone by sharing this experience.

  296. Kate, I was the one in your sons place 20 years ago. I was at my grandmas neighbors pool doing the exact same thing- bouncing too close to the slope. Slipped and went under. The neighbor was a lifeguard thankfully. No ER trip (it was 20 years ago I feel like that wasn’t the norm then) . Since that day I never truly learned to swim, I have no real damage from it aside from a huge phobia of water. I had a panic attack snorkeling on my honeymoon in Hawaii but it has caused me to be uber careful with my kids and water- possibly bordering on avoidance.

    I am so glad everything turned out for the better. Do follow through with getting him back in the water some day- 15 years was too long to wait.

    Hugs.

  297. My heart goes out to you and your family. What a scary situation to find yourselves in! I’m glad to hear that your story has a happy ending and that your child was okay.

  298. Sorry to hear that Kate. We had a scare a few years ago when our now 5 year old managed, in less than 10 seconds, to take off her arm floaties and jump into a pool filled with 4 adults (myself only 2 feet away) and 7 children with only one child seeing or hearing her. If that child had not pointed down toward the still water and mentioned that “she took off her arm floaties”, well, I can’t bring myself to complete that thought. We think my daughter was only under the water 15-20 seconds tops, but it was enough to cause her to dry heave when I did pull her up (she was only about a foot under water and her legs were moving but her arms were motionless above her head). Don’t drive yourself crazy with “what if” questions. Don’t think about the “could have been” scenarios–take it from a professional worrier. Focus on the reality of the situation, what you learned, and what you can teach others.

  299. Thank you for sharing your story. It was hard for you, and I know how tramtic that day was. Being a mom w/one son, yep I know exactly how much you worried about safety. My son, well, he’s had his share of accidents, and no matter how much you try to keep them safe, its impossible. But, every day I pray for his safety, and try not to be over protective. Your son is a great kid and will handle everything ok. Just keep doing what you are doing to protect your kids, that’s a mom’s job.

  300. I am so glad you shared this. But so sorry you had to experience it. Praise the LORD that he is OK….truly a MIRACLE! ((HUGS)) to you and your family!

  301. Thank you for sharing such great advice. As a police officer/detective and a former EMT and member of a search and rescue team these are always excellent reminders for all of us. And it is also comforting to know that there is someone looking over us and our children, since we are all imperfect parents, unlike our perfect heavenly parents.

  302. As a swim teacher and lifeguard of 20 years all I can say is, “thank you.” Your artice was well-written and imformative. I am so sorry you and your family had such an awful experience and it seems your boy is doing well. It really does just take a second. My daughter slipped underwater during her lesson with a teacher I trust and there was a class assigned lifeguard at the water’s edge. Glad it all ended well.

  303. I’m so sorry to hear about your frightening experience. Thank you so much for sharing. It was a great reminder of the importance of safety!

  304. I’m so glad that everything turned out okay – that must have been terrifying beyond words! Prayers for you and your family!

  305. Thank you for your post. Thank God for the happy ending. With my own five kids, I was always a little anxious around water just because I know how fast things can go wrong. Even the bathtub at home can be dangerous for little ones. Be careful, be cautious….they depend on us to keep them safe.

  306. I am so glad he is ok. And I am so grateful for this reminder. I have a cautious 7-year-old who is a great swimmer that I probably trust too much in the water. This is such a good wake-up call. So glad everything turned out ok. Makes me sick to even think about it.

  307. Don’t be hard on yourself. We all understand. Anyone with children knows how fast stuff like that can happen. That’s why I pray everyday for angels to help me watch my children- cause I just can’t do it all the time. No one can. So grateful yours were safe and it’s a good reminder to the rest of us. God bless you:)

  308. I am so happy it all turned out alright. All my kids are 17 and above, but one day it may be a grandchild, so I will keep this in mind. you did the right thing posting this.

  309. This brought tears to my eyes. I so appreciate you sharing, we had something similar but not quite so serious happen last summer. Just like you, there are moments where it all comes rushing back, the vivid memories, the what-ifs. I’m so thankful for your family that everything has come together and you are all okay, especially your sweet boy. Thanks again for giving us all a good reminder.

  310. I am so glad everything turned out ok, God bless you and your family. We had a similar accident at a pool in Gatlinburg and it is like nothing else I have ever gone through. After a while you will feel less leery but the scariness of it has never left me. My heart goes out to you. Take Care.

  311. Oh my gosh – I can’t begin to imagine what you went through that night! And I’m really grateful you shared your story and the article – I had no idea what drowning really looked like. My prayers are with both your families, and praise that everything turned out so well!

  312. As a mom who has walked where you walked, I say thank you for sharing your experience with others. I will also apologize as this will end up longer than it should be! We also almost lost our oldest 2 1/2 years ago. He was involved in the kind of accident you only read about and say a prayer of thanks that wasn’t your child. That day is still a blur of ambulance, helicopter, doctors and a medical vocabulary I had to learn quickly. While he suffered internal injuries and faced surgeries, we too walked away with our blessing still part of our family and a new found awareness, appreciation and responsibility for our children. I won’t tell you that you will suddenly sleep easier or relax any time soon. I won’t say that you won’t find yourself creating new “safety” rules, procedures,regulations……and see danger in places you previously thought safe. But I will tell you that our family walked away from that experience stronger, closer and more determined to make time together a priority. I would never want to go there again, but when I look back, I see God’s hand all over my son’s life and will be forever grateful.

  313. Thank you so much for sharing! I read that article about what drowning looks like and I feel much better prepared now. I’m so glad your story turned out okay. <3

  314. I am so glad your little man is alright, and I can’t imagine what you must have gone through. Thank you for sharing your experience, and helping us all remember that we are human, and that we need to be cautious. Take care.

  315. thanks so much for sharing this story. i think it’s a good reminder for all of us. I have a pool in my backyard and it’s so easy to be complacent or get comfortable, but then things like this remind us how fragile life can be. we’re all so glad your little guy is fine.

  316. I was so happy when I read that everything turned out o.k. It is a good reminder for me to update my CPR certification and a great reminder of how precious our little ones really are. You are an amazing mother!

  317. I am so sorry Kate. How very very VERY scary! Last year I was in the pool with my three little ones, turned to help the youngest and when I turned back around my 3-year-old was floating face first in the water just inches from my reach. He was fine and it only lasted a split second but WOW, was it rattling. He is fine but I know I will never be the same.

    Thank you so much for being willing to share your story with us. It is an important wake-up call.

  318. Kate, I am so sorry to hear that you and your family experienced such a scary situation. And while something so personal and so serious was, I am sure, terribly hard to share, I thank you for doing so. We all need to take time to remember to be cautious and like you stated it, can happen to anyone. Accidents happen to even the most overly cautious. I have been saying for months and months that I need to take a CPR class and just keep putting it off, after hearing your story I can’t do so anymore. You are so blessed that you had all those angles in your life that night. I will be keeping you and your sweet family in my thoughts for continued strength and recovery, both physically and emotionally. Remember, Your children are blessed to have you as their Mom!

  319. It is so true that things happen in an instant and even when you are being absolutely vigilant, things can happen. I’m sorry that you and your family have had such a horrifying experience. But am also glad that things have turned out so well. Thanks for the reminder that it can happen to anybody at anytime and we need to be watchful at all times. Good luck with you and your family and dealing with all of the emotions that accompany such an experience.

  320. I was so sad last Sat that I didn’t get to hear you two speak at TOFW that I sent them a quick email. They replied and they helped me find a way to watch it. I had just finished listening to your wonderful message when I noticed the email from you. I am so relieved for you. I am grateful for the smile on your sons face. I am thankful for your influence for good to your families and to all of us.

  321. “Greg told me he was planning on going to the dance, but for some reason, something inside of him told him he was supposed to go swimming.”

    You and I know what that something inside Greg was. Thank heavens he listened to it.

    In the short 13.5 months I’ve been a mother to my precious little boy, I have quickly learned that accidents can–and do–happen to anyone and everyone. Sometimes the story has a happy ending and other times it doesn’t. I’m so happy for you that God spared your son and that Greg was able to follow his prompting.

    Thank you for the reminder of how precious life is and how we shouldn’t be relaxed about simple rules of safety. Amazing how we all think these things could never happen to US! Again, I’m so happy your son is okay. God bless you!

    1. I want to clarify: I wasn’t meaning you were intentionally being relaxed about safety. I just mean that it is easy to let our guard down a little or be distracted at times and things can happen so quickly!

  322. I am crying while writing this, and just the thought of what y’all have been through takes my breath away. Thank you for having the strength to share your story with all of us, opening our eyes to this possibility so that we can hopefully avoiding experiencing this first hand.
    Your son had angels watching over him that night, thank God for having the right people in the right place at the right time.
    May your family continue to heal, my prayers for all of you.

  323. Oh, sweet Kate. Your words touched a place in my heart that remains quiet most of the time, but still nags at me when I feel like I’ve been a bad mother. Although my situation wasn’t nearly as serious as yours, it began the same. My son was the same age as yours, playing in the shallow end of the hotel pool with his two older sisters. I was sitting poolside, reading or something. I heard the girls calling from the pool and looked over to see my son’s eyes filled with panic as he was slipping down the slope of the pool. He could swim but was not a confident swimmer nor were his sisters. I froze. Blessedly, a teenage girl dived in and grabbed him. As I read the KSL article, I was so proud of you for diving in after your boy. Don’t you beat yourself up for a minute! I can tell you are a wonderful mom. Thanks for sharing your story. BTW, I watched your TOFW presentation via live streaming and was so impressed. Who knew you had been through such an ordeal before getting on that stage. I think you’re incredible. Plus you and Sara are delightful!

  324. Oh, I am so thankful that the situation has the outcome it has. Will be praying for peace and rest for you and the kids; thank you for letting us know what happened. Reading the blogs it feels like we get to know you and your family – thank you for the privledge to know what happened. Will be sending prayers and peaceful thoughts your way.

  325. I’m so glad Clark is okay! The right people were there for him that night.

    Thank you for having the courage to share his story and the safety reminders. It proves that even kids with supervision and cautious parents can have accidents. My daughter was seven when she had a near drowning incident. It was no one’s fault, just an accident and there were at least a dozen adults in and watching the pool. We’ve had our kids in swimming lessons for a couple years now and I still have to fight my own anxiety every time we head to the pool. No one did anything wrong, but water is just plain dangerous!

  326. Oh my goodness, this is so sad and scary and joyful all at once – joyful that your precious little one is alright. I can’t imagine the horror of such an event, but THANK YOU for the reminder and the oh-so-important info about kids and water. We really can’t be too careful with our supervision, and with a 5 year old budding “fish”, I will use this story and article to be extra cautious and watchful. Thank you for sharing, I pray for peace for your whole family!

  327. Im so sorry you had to experience that, but Im happy that Clark recovered so well. It must have been so difficult. Thank you for sharing your story as a reminder to us all.

  328. You should probably change the name of the post to “That Time When OBB Probably Saved Someone’s Life”. It isn’t earth shattering information that you’re passing along, but it is information that, when presented in such a “comfortable” space for people will likely have the most impact. You could have chosen to keep the blog comfortable with happy stories and beautiful pictures of food and fun crafts, but by choosing instead to post this deeply personal story, here of all places, it will probably have the most impact in a positive way. As you can see by the number of replies, people have taken notice and I think that’s one of the more positive things you could hope for out of this experience. Thank you.

  329. Thanks for the reminder that mature as they may seem, kids are just that- kids. Water scares me because I can’t swim, so I’m hyper-careful there. We had the same kid sliding down into the deep end experience, but I caught it immediately, because of my fear, but it amazed me how long it took to get the attention of the adult relatives all around my son, to get him rescued! It’s hard to remember though, that kids are still kids. Thank you for telling your story, it will make a difference in many lives.

  330. Kate, I can’t imagine going through this- I’m so sorry! I’m glad that you experienced the best possible outcome. I’m not a mother but I adore my friends children and am around them frequently. It’s amazing how such a simple mistake/move can have such dramatic turns. I’m happy that you are all doing well now and am really very appreciative that you shared this story. I am signing up for CPR and a refresher first aid course following this post. Take care!

  331. I was thinking about this the other day for some reason. I’ve though that I needed to take a CPR course for a while, but seeing this story really made it hit home!! I am glad that your baby is safe, and everyone is recovering! Best wishes!

  332. Every single time I think about your story and your sweet boy tears well up in my eyes. I sent this post to my hubby and some friends because your message is so important. I’m sending you and your family lots of love. Blessings and hugs to you.

  333. I am so glad your son is fine. Having raised three to adulthood, I remember those times when I realized that only God’s angels kept real tragedy from happening to us. God Bless those who where there to help and God Bless you and your family. 🙂

  334. Thank you so much for sharing! I am so sorry this happened and so thankful he is ok. Prying for peace that passes all understanding for your heart and your mind!

  335. When I was 16 and juggling 6-8 3 year olds in a swimming class with no problem on a daily basis, I didn’t understand how it could be so hard for parents to keep an eye on their own kids. Now I understand how exhaustion can build up and how we sometimes trust our own kids more than we should.

    What I still don’t understand, however, is parents who leave their kids alone at open swim (not accusing anyone here of it, just a huge pet peeve of mine). Yes, there’s a lifeguard there, but they are not responsible for your kid unless they are hurt somehow, they don’t know your kid by name, and they don’t know who their parents are. If, as a lifeguard, I counted 30 heads and then counted 29, I would scan the bottom of the pool, check the hot tub and sauna and then assume the 30th had decided to go home. It’s not the lifeguard’s job to know where they went or who they went with. It’s also not fair to ask the person who is making sure 30+ people don’t drown to stop your kids from drowning each other when they have an argument and there’s no one there to mediate.

  336. Kate, Thank you for sharing your story. We had a near drowning experience a few summers ago with our son as well. It definitely shakes you to your core. So happy that your son is well and safe. Thank you for your thoughts and reminding us mommies how we can be better prepared.

  337. Oh my goodness, this made me cry! I’m SO glad your son is ok! And I appreciate your sharing the story, it’s a good wake up call for me….I definitely have not paid enough attention to my oldest (7 years old) when he swims lately.

  338. Thanks for sharing and reminding us of God’s everyday miracles. I still remember the day my son fell out of my car as I was driving because his door was not shut all the way and as I was in a rush to buckle his baby sister I did not double check his buckle and door. How he survived I’ll never know but I believe angels were with me that day. I think as Mother’s we like to think we’re Super heroes and would never let anything terrible happen under our watch, but we must remember we’re still human and have to forgive ourselves for not being able to prevent and protect at every moment. Hopefully your experience will bring more awareness to all young moms out there!

  339. Thank you so much for sharing this story, if nothing else but what an important reminder that we need to always be on alert and prepared. My heart broke for you reading this story and could not help but cry just imagining the fear you must have felt. So relieved about the positive outcome of it all. Best wishes to your entire family.

  340. Thanks for posting your story. Thank goodness it has a happy ending. As our family has a pool, all reminders of safety are appreciated. Lots of love to all of you 🙂

  341. Kate,
    First thing I have to say is I am SO glad your little boy is okay and is doing well. So sorry that this happened to you but thankful that teenage boy acted quickly to get your son out of the water. Thanks for sharing this story because it is a total eye opener that our little ones are so fragile and a accident like that can happen in a split second. Prayers for your family! Take care of yourself!!

  342. Not a fun experience at all!

    Years ago, while attending a branch swimming social I watched a little 4 year old – who swam like a FISH nearly drown. I called to her mom and she dove in and got her. Two interesting things about that were this: The child was an ARMS-LENGTH from the EDGE of the pool and the child’s mother, a well-respected COLLEGE WATER SAFETY INSTRUCTOR (and a VERY attentive mother), was standing 5 feet from her! There were about 30 adults there and no one realized she was in trouble. Mom was talking and just glanced away for not more than 30 seconds. The child, whom as I said swam like a fish, got tired but was still trying to make it to THE END OF THE POOL! It seems that a lot of kids, when they are taught to swim, are taught to go to the END of the pool. All the child had to do to reach safety was reach an arm out and grab the side of the pool, but didn’t know to do it and started to flounder (quietly!) and went under a couple of times, surfacing and trying to get to the end of the pool.

    So if you child(ren) have had swimming lessons, make SURE they know that it’s OK to grab the SIDE of the pool if they feel tired. And then have them practice it. As I said, they’re usually drilled to swim to the END of the pool. I (a former medic/paramedic), didn’t realize how much trouble she was in for several seconds and almost WATCHED her drown!

    Please don’t beat yourself up over this. If a 20-year WSI can have a child almost drown, it can happen to anyone.

    Glad every one is ok.

  343. So thankful he is OK. As a pool owner, I sometimes think my kids can swim better than they might be able to, this is a great reminder that you just never know. Take care!!

  344. I read the story on KSL, but had no idea it was your son. I was so touched when the teenager said, “I felt like I should go swimming.” It was no accident the teenager was there to save your son. And it is no accident that your son is alive and healthy. God puts people in our lives when we need them. This story is a beautiful reminder of that fact.

  345. I really appreciate you posting that, it can’t have been easy, but I feel so strongly that it’s important to learn from others experiences and I can so easily see that happening to my 8 year old daughter. I would assume the same things of her. Thanks for posting and I’m glad you little guys okay!

  346. Glad to hear that everything ended up okay! Hopefully Clark will become comfortable and confident in the water again soon. I was a lifeguard for many years, and it is scary how fast these things can happen.

    All the best to Clark, you, and your family.

  347. As I started reading this post I was having anxiety. When I was 3 I was a near drowning at our local pool here in Arizona. A teenager pulled me out, not the adult that took me swimming or any of the lifeguards that were paid to do just that. My other 3 year old cousin tried to save me and was also pulled out. She was fine on the spot, but they did have to do CPR and revive me. I was rushed in an ambulance to the hospital where I stayed over night. I was young but still have serious fears about water. There were so many miracles that happened in my family during that time. I wont go into details about that here but I am so thankful that everything worked out okay and that you still have your son. Now being a mother I can only begin to comprehend what my mother must have gone through. She did say that for weeks I would tell her the story over and over again. Years later I started having nightmares and didn’t know what they were but my mom recognized them as the same experience.

  348. Kate – Thank you for sharing. This breaks my heart and warms it at the same time. I can’t even imagine feeling what you must have felt for just one second. I’m so very thankful that things worked out well and everyone is just fine. God certainly must have had his eye on you and your son that day. My 2.5 year old son is in swim class, and I was considering not re-signing up for the next term because he is not enjoying himself, but this post made my mind up – he’s staying in, for sure.

  349. What a wonderful, educational post! You are so brave to share your terrifying, personal experience. Your list of things to think about and learn will most certainly help me and I’m quite certain millions of others too. I’m so glad your experience has a happy ending! I’ve been a silent, but faithful follower of your blog for a long time and discovered you on my own. It turns out that we have some mutual friends as I live in the area you once did. 🙂 All of us Moms have had (or will have…) scary things happen. I would hope that the circle of moms would never judge each other. We’ve all had stuff. We all learn. Thanks to you for sharing. Now I’m off to make one of your delicious salad recipes!

  350. I am so thankful that he is ok. Thank you for sharing your story. I really think it can happen to anyone. I have seen my 2 year old sink with me being right in front of him. It’s a very scary feeling. My heart goes out to the two of you (you and your hubby) for it is an unimaginable, terrifying experience. We are putting a pool in our backyard right now and it’s a great reminder to always be cautious, especially with those older ones. Thank you for sharing.

  351. Thank you for your post!! I can’t imagine what you were feeling and still are!! This post will save lives! We all need to be reminded that just because kids can swim accidents happen such as swallowing too much water! There is also an at home CPR kits the American Red cross puts out with a adult and child dummy to practice on and a video to watch. I have used them for family home evenings.

  352. I think this is very valuable and while I am so sorry this happened, I am so grateful that everything is okay and that you did decide to share this. We are planning a hotel/swim trip in the next few weeks and I am better for these reminders. And as a mom of young kids that nagging reminder to be up on CPR seems a lot more pressing. 😉

  353. I am so glad that you all are well. Thank you for sharing the story and helping other families. May the outpouring of love you are receiving affirm your choice to share this situation. None of us are perfect and accidents truly happen. Please give yourself grace and know you are a loving and caring mother. I am praying for your family.

  354. Wow, what a traumatic experience for all of you! Thank you for sharing your story, Kate. This reminds me once again the importance of swimming lessons for kids of all ages. It is such a disservice when parents do not teach their children water safety. I’m relieved that your sweet Clark is back to his old self. Angels were watching over him and his rescuer that night. Blessings to you all!

  355. Over 400 comments from a bunch of people who love a woman some of us will never meet. Over 800 arms who wish we could give you a hug and tell you how much we understand. You are loved for your service, your happiness, and for the absolutely lovely-in-every-way person you are. Thank you for sharing this experience with all of your “fans”. We love your great recipes and ideas, but we really love YOU! And Sara too :).

  356. So great of you to share such a difficult story to help other people remember to be safe. I think that is very noble and I’m glad to hear that your son is doing well. Thank you for having such a darling blog with yummy recipes and clever writing. I love following it and impressing my friends with your fabulous recipes! I use them all. 🙂

  357. I can’t imagine any unkind comment. The only thing to be said is thank goodness your son is okay. And hopefully your poor heart will mend – I imagine it was all too terrifying. Accidents happen and luckily everything was in place to have a happy ending.

  358. Kate- I rarely comment but am a faithful OBB follower. Thank you for having the courage to share. So glad the outcome was what it was. Sending prayers!

  359. I`m so sorry that you had to go through this horrible experience. Please do not blame yourself, I know the pain of watching your child not being able to breath and wondering if they will live, and now is a time to be thankful for Heavenly Father and those he has put in your life in this unfortunate situation. Thank you for being brave and sharing with us all. I wish you and your son all the best.

  360. Clark is adorable~all of the children are. I’m so glad this had a happy ending, what a miracle and a tender mercy from God. Thank you for sharing. I’m going to learn CPR and share this with all of my friends as well. I love your blog and have a great time making delicious food for my family. If only those desserts could be calorie free….. Lots of love to you and your family.

  361. Blessings and hugs to you. You must have been so very scared – all of you. No judgement here – just joy that everyone is okay.

    Thoughts and prayers to all of you!

  362. I am so relieved that you had a good outcome. The article you linked to was excellent and I’m so glad I’ve read it. Thank you for sharing your experience, it will save a life.

  363. I am so thankful that he was okay after that horrifying experience. Kids have accidents so quickly, and the toll it takes on the child and the parents is horrible. I myself almost drowned at the age of 7.

    The man who wrote that article (Mario Vittone) also has a Facebook page and a personal website with AMAZING advice for everything involved in any water safety. I have read through his stuff multiple times.

  364. Wow, I was literally shaking when I watched the story on the news. I cannot imagine how horrifying it must have been. I’m so glad he is okay now. Thanks for speaking out and reminding us all that we need to remember to be extra cautious with our kids in every situation.

  365. Thank you so much for being brave enough to tell this story. I just forwarded it on to my daughter, because she uses her cell phone while she drives. My grandchildren are 13 and 10, and they are the light of my life. I have begged my daughter not to use her phone in the car, to no avail. I hope your story will open her eyes. What a blessing that it turned out all right for you. I am so grateful to you. Please know what a blessing you are to your followers.

  366. Oh Kate! What an ordeal you’ve been through. That hospital separation would have upset me, too. I think you did the right thing with your disclosure just to reassure your readers since the event was published in the paper.

    Don’t go back and second-guess all your reasons for deciding to go to the pool with your friends. You made the right choice for all the right reasons. Clark is alive after a freak accident and the help of your dear friend saved him. Let the rest go. Love your children, love your friends, love life.

  367. Hi Kate, Thank you for sharing your story with us all. So happy to hear that all is well with Clark! What a truly terrifying experience. I’ve had a similar experience at the lake with my middle child. I can relate and again am glad that everything turn out well for your family.
    The information posted at the end of the story is extremely helpful to everyone with little ones and those who watch children. I am a big advocate for floaties, life vests, etc for the youngsters and helmets on jet skis for the pre-teens. Best wishes to your families and thanks again for sharing a your personal (but very informative) story.

  368. So thankful things end well for Clark and your family. Thank you for sharing your experience and the link on what drowning looks like. Good information and/or reminders for all of us.

  369. Wow, what a frightening thing!! I know all too well how quickly things can go bad, having witnessed a couple close calls this summer at our local pool. Just the turn of the head for a few seconds can be enough! I am so glad everything turned out ok and that, that teenager followed the promptings of the spirit, because that is truly what it was. Thank you for sharing!

  370. With tears in my eyes can I just tell you how glad I am that you had a happy outcome. It’s a wake up call to all of us to be just a little extra careful when it come to the ones we love. Linda

  371. Kate,

    I too know all too well your experience. Last year my three year old fell in the pool. Thankfully my husband was in the backyard pushing my oldest on the swings when he noticed my youngest not in sight. I saw him dash across the yard and by the time I got out there, he was pulling my baby out of the pool. My heart dropped. He wasnt under for more than 10-20 seconds, but that was 10-20 seconds too long. I will never forget the look of terror on his face as he was trying to figure out how to breathe. I was so ashamed as a parent and thought I was a failure because in my mind “this could never happen to us because we are very observant parents.” Well it did and I didn’t tell anyone about it for a long time because of embarrassment. However, I realize it cand and does happen to even the most observant in a blink of an eye. Thankfully, he had been is swim lessons and he knew to flip over and that bought him precious second before he went under. Thank you for sharing this story and I am so glad that your baby boy is okay. Thank you for the links to the articles as well.

  372. I’m so sorry you all went through that experience, but so glad it was a happy ending! I watched you and Sara on the live streaming event last weekend. Thank you for sharing your lives with all of us. Your posts are a happy point in every week. God bless you!

  373. glad that things worked out so well– i have treated many near-drowning kids and the “worst case scenario” is a very tragic life indeed… all of their parents were loving, doting parents with the same “it only took a second” horror story. makes you really appreciate every moment you have in life when you realize how quickly something can go wrong.

  374. I’m so sorry to hear your family such a terrible experience. I’m glad your son wasn’t more seriously hurt. You are in my thoughts and prayers!

  375. Oh my, I am so glad he is okay. My heart aches that you even had to experience that. And there is no criticism at all…that could happen to anyone! Thank you for the reminder to be more aware and more safe. I have three little boys that I have taken to the pool many times. Thank you, thank you for the reminder.

  376. My dad was a cement finisher for over 40 years, and put in allot of pools. Accidents like your son had are very common in pools with steeply sloping walls, especially in hotels, where people aren’t familiar with their surroundings. I am so glad your son is okay—that type of pool shouldn’t be put in a hotel to begin with, and there should have been signs posted.

  377. My heart goes out to you and your family. Haven’t been able to stop thinking about this much at all since I read your post yesterday. Hard to really fathom what you went through. Thank you for sharing this. My youngest two girls (6 and 7) are very shy and are frightened of swimming lessons. Almost as afraid as I am of CPR classes. But after reading it I will see to it that both swimming lessons and CPR certification are completed, and soon.

  378. Thank you so much for sharing. Your right, it is definitely a great reminder to us all, and how quickly and easily something can happen. I am thankful that everyone in your beautiful family is ok.

  379. Oh Kate, my heart just aches for you. As mothers we just want to protect our kids from all the hurt, pain and tragedy that comes with this earthly life. What a blessing that your sweet Clark is safe and that you were surrounded by the right people at the right time. Thank you so much for your bravery in sharing this story and for your important reminders. I’m signing up for a CPR class as soon as I post this comment. Think of all the lives that may be saved because of the awareness created by Clark’s story.

  380. so teary. I’m so sorry this happened to your sweet family. In no way could anyone think less of you! So grateful for the outcome!

  381. Like others, I am tearing up at work. Thanks so much for reminding us that even thought our kids are “growing up”, we still need to watch them closely! I am so glad your son is ok and I can not imagine the panic your heart must have felt. God Bless!

  382. So sad to hear about this. As a mother, I can only imagine what you and your husband went through (and the others there too witnessing it). So glad he is safe and sharing your experience with others to take heed is not a bad thing. (((HUGS)))

  383. Thank you so much for posting your story. We have 3 children and an inground pool. I can’t confidently say I would feel comfortable doing CPR correctly since it has been so long since I took a course. It is now my goal to take a CPR course before next summer. These types of accidents with kids truly only take seconds, but please try to give yourself grace and forgive yourself. You’re a very good mom and by sharing your difficult ordeal you may be saving many children’s lives. I’m so glad your sweet son is okay. Take care and God Bless!

  384. I’m so sorry, what a terrifying moment for your family! I was there will a friend when her 18 month old son fell in a subdivision’s water feature, that was adjoining a park, without our knowledge. We found him floating in the water. It was a truly horrific experience. He ended up being just fine, we really believe he was blessed by angels. So I totally understand how quickly and unexpectedly things like this happen, so don’t take blame on yourself. But thank you for the reminded to be prepared, there’s always more I can do on that front. I hope your family heals emotionally from the experience!

  385. I think you just may save a child’s life by posting your experience and raising awareness. It could happen to ANYONE. Thank you for posting this.

  386. It happened to me. Thankfully we had a happy ending, too. But I left my baby in the baby pool at the beginning of this summer. She was in a floaty and I had our babysitter with us. Unfortunately, 12 year-old babysitters don’t have the same understanding that babies can slip out of their floaties. She walked away from the baby as well, thinking she was completely safe in a floaty. HUGE LESSON LEARNED and I’m thankful Heavenly Father was so kind and gave us all another chance to be together.
    It happens to the best of us. I’m so grateful you had a good outcome. This morning in my prayers I had this sudden realization that the Lord really, truly knows the desires of our heart. He knows you’re a good and loving mom. Take solace in that, and don’t beat yourself up (like I did), or waste hours not sleeping (like I did). It happened, it’s over. Lesson learned and move on. You’re a good mom and THAT’S what matters.

  387. kate,

    I’m so glad your little boy is OK. Accidents can happen so fast and that doesn’t matter if they’re in a pool, falling down the stairs or choking on a bite they forgot to chew up. Thanks to God and all the wonderful people he put in your life to make sure everyhting turned out well!! I can’t imagine how horrible that must have been for your whole family. So glad all is well so you can focus on having fun and loving them. (and maybe a little cooking. 🙂

  388. I read this post a few days ago and have had you on my mind ever since. As both a mom and a therapist, my heart goes out to you. I can only imagine how awful it would be to see of my own sweet babes in a similar situation. There really are no words… a mom’s worst nightmare. The therapist part of me has thought about you personally and the difficult emotional path you’ve walked (and may still be walking). I hope the kind words from your readers have brought you some comfort and support. Thanks for your bravery is sharing such a personal part of yourself and your life. I’m sure your are hugging your sweet boy extra tight these days. I’m so glad your prayers for Clark were answered.

  389. Kate, I’m so sorry you had to go through that. Anyone who would judge you for that experience clearly isn’t a parent (or is a parent who hires someone to parent their kids for them). Glad all turned out well.

  390. I’m so thankful that your son is okay! I cannot imagine the terror you endured in this experience. And I am so thankful for the young man who was there because of a prompting!!! Hugs to you and your family and prayers!

  391. I agree with post #1 – every parent has done things which could have turned out bad (and sometimes do). But we are all human. I am so glad you wrote this (and it is written very well) and that your son is ok.

  392. Kate- Thank you so much for this post. Just this past summer our 3, almost 4 year old, got comfortable enough at the lake to begin playing out past our pier and with the other kids his age. He usually has a life jacket on, but once, just once, he went back in the water without it. We told him to stay close to the shore and not go past a certain marker on the dock. Eventually, he just lost track of that marker, and that’s when our horror took place as well. I was sitting on the bank with our newborn in my hands when I saw him just start to sink. It was the most terrifying, silent moment of my life. As I type this now, and as I read your post I started bawling all over again. All I could do was scream my husband’s name, and luckily he and another guy who were lightning quick were able to get to him in time. I will never forget seeing his head disappear under that brown water, bob back up slightly, and see the terror in his eyes. I was so close to loosing my baby. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve been so ashamed and embarrassed by the whole event that I haven’t said anything to anyone before this. I posted your article that you shared on my Pinterest hoping that many of my momma friends saw it and read it. It’s amazing how I thought the same thing about the visualization of drowning, but now, fortunately and unfortunately I know better. Thank you for sharing. Seriously, thank you.- Sara (from North Carolina)

    1. Oh, my goodness, Sara, thanks so much for sharing your story. I think there IS so much shame associated with stories like these, but they’re so traumatic that they just end up haunting you. I’m so glad your little guy is okay!

  393. I really appreciate you posting this. I often keep less of a watchful eye on my oldest, because I think she is the big one and can take care of herself, when in reality she is only 5!! She is still such a baby and this was a good reminder of how quickly things can go wrong. I am sure this was hard to write and experience, but I think it will be an important reminder to all who read it. It was for me!

  394. Kate, thanks for your post and the article! My 2 year-old almost drowned once, right under my nose!!! Angels were watching! I’m glad he’s ok. You’re a great mom, love ya!!!

  395. Moments like these happen to us all and when we least expect it. So glad it all turned out well. Thank you for sharing this cautionary tale and making me think about keeping my little ones safe today. I’ll hug all of mine a little closer too.

  396. What a wonderful article. The Lord was watching out for your family that day. Drownings happen so easily and I have always said that as much as I love swimming lessons for kids, it is important to realize that is gives a false sense of security to parents. My son almost drowned when he was 3 and he was standing right next to his dad. We were at the beach, and my husband was blowing up a float, standing in the water. My son was right at his knee and Jess (my husb) thought he was fine. I was on a hill and saw a small wave knock Spencer over. I am waving and jumping and yelling at Jess and he looks down and sees Spencer under water. Luckily no damage. But it was an eye opener.

  397. I am so grateful that your son is alive and survived the accident with no brain damage. Thank you as well for sharing your story for all parents and grandparents. God bless both families.

  398. Thanks for sharing your story. I hope that it gives us all a wwake up call. We can never be too careful. You did what all of us have done for a moment and in that moment the worst happened. Thank God Clark is well. We all have the opportunity to digest what happened to you and your family and try to learn a lesson. Hugs to you all!

  399. I am so glad you decided to share this! Though I am sure it must’ve been painful for you to do, you are doing a wonderful and selfless thing by sharing your story and raising awareness about water safety. I work as a lifeguard at a busy water park, and we have an average of three saves a day! Far too many people assume that water isn’t dangerous and are not properly educated about water safety. So many lives could be saved if more people knew how easy it is to drown, and how difficult it is to recognize the signs of drowning. Hopefully, sharing your story will encourage others to become educated on water safety and prevent future drownings. Thank you so much for sharing!

  400. Thanks for sharing your experience, Kate. You are a brave woman to put it out there for everyone to read. I’m glad everything turned out ok. You’ve given me a good reminder to get CPR certified, which I think about ALL the time but haven’t done yet (I’m a mom of 3), and also to STOP answering my cell phone while I’m driving. I also love reading what and how you write. I’ve never met you, but I feel like I can really “hear” you through your words. Thanks again. 🙂

  401. I am sorry that you went through that but appreciate you sharing your story for others to learn from. The tips you shared are terrific and may very well save a life. I nearly lost my daughter to drowning nine years ago and I still replay that day in my mind over and over. I am ever grateful that my daughter is still here today because of someone else’s quick thinking.

  402. I am so sorry you had to go through this! I have been a swim teacher for 35 years, and I know how accidents can happen in seconds. You are doing all the right things, so I’m sure he will re-gain his confidence in the water! Be kind to yourself!

  403. This story sends chills through my body. I am happy and relieved to hear that your son is doing well. Sometimes I wish we could put our kids in a “bubble” and never let anything happen to them.

  404. Thanks for sharing this super scary experience. I’m so glad it all turned out well and appreciate the reminder. (((hugs)))

  405. So glad to hear things turned out well! I hope your son doesnt have a fear of water and that he continues to love swimming his whole life!!

  406. Kate, I’m SO glad it all worked out as it did and Clark is alright. I still have goosebumps from reading what you wrote. I have great admiration for your willingness to share something so personal and so scary with all of us. You’re right: accidents can (and do) happen to anyone. I have a seven-year-old who, like Clark, is also quite a good swimmer. Your story has reminded me in a very real and meaningful way, how she IS still little and quite inexperienced in swimming – and in lots of life. I am so glad you had people there to help you. And, like you, I need to learn how to perform CPR, too. Thank you very, very much for sharing. You, Clark and your family will be in my prayers.

  407. This post brought tears to my eyes. I am always so paranoid with kids in water, especially since I can’t swim myself, and its such a big fear of mine. I am so happy to hear your little, precious boy is doing fine. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  408. Wow, I appreciate you sharing this story and I’m glad I had the chance to read it. i don’t usually comment on anything, but I feel like I should share a similar experience. When I was about six years old my older sister was babysitting my siblings and I, she was giving my younger brother a bath when the phone rang. She took him out of the bath onto a chair next to the tub and left to answer the phone. While she was on the phone my older brother (7 years old) went into the bathroom and found my younger brother face down in the tub. He pulled him out and pressed on his stomach, and water flowed out. Well, I just want you to know that you are not alone, my brother was in the hospital for a lot longer than your son. But he is alive and now 6’4″ and healthy!

  409. Kate,
    I was so sorry to read about the frightening weekend experience you had with your son. I had just made the garlic parmesan frozen rolls recipe and loved it so much I had come to the site to share it with a number of friends. I was horrified to read what you went through and can only imagine the terror you expereience. I hope your everyone in your family is doing okay. My best to you and your families.

  410. Literally teared up when I read this. My husband was concerned and wanted to make sure I was okay, I told him about my “Mormon mom” (that’s what I call you ladies) and how I know it’s insane I feel like we are friends- but truly, I am so happy to hear that everything is okay!

  411. Kate, thank you so much for sharing this and for the reminders. How very scary~we had a close pool incidents, and it does happen SO FAST. Big hugs to you~so grateful all is well. You know you girls are my favorite. xo

  412. Kate, my heart goes out to you and your family. This is a scarey situation and I am so glad your little guy is okay. I also wanted to say how proud I am that you are being pro-active and taking CPR classes.

  413. I know this is just one more comment on the hundreds, but thank you so much for sharing. I am so so so glad that it didn’t end tragically. This made me bawl. How terrifying.

  414. Praise God that he’s alright! I’ve had my own scares (and nightmares) about my kids drowning, but nothing like your family experienced. Thank you for having the courage to share and provide a cautionary tale for all of us.

  415. I too saw the story. And I am grateful things turned out so well for your family.
    And thank you for sharing your prevention ideas. Because an ounce of prevention could mean someone is alive.
    My family suffered through a tragic accident almost 8 months ago. And because of it I am much more aware of how much people don’t pay attention when they drive, especially to pedestrians who have the right of way in a crosswalk. It was an accident, and nothing will bring my brother back. But if I can prevent another family from having to go through all the pain my family has gone through it would be worth it. Not to mention the driver of the vehicle who hit my brother.
    The thing I have learned is to enjoy every day. Be sure to tell those you love how much you love them. Because you truly don’t know when you may never have the chance.

  416. Oh I am so sorry this happened! I can’t imagine how scary that was. Thank God that young man was nearby. I am glad that your son is doing well!! I hope you are too, I know as a mom it sometimes takes us a lot longer to get over our kiddos being hurt than it does the kiddos.

  417. You are so right, it can happen to anybody. I hear guilt in your post and nobody is to blame. Accidents happen. I’m so glad your “baby” is OK. Remember to breathe!

  418. I have tears streaming down my face. Thank you for sharing this. If it helps just one person avoid a tragedy, it’s worth it. No one could possibly think that this happened because you were irresponsible unless they’re delusional or kidding themselves. No one can watch their child all the time. No one. And if you really did manage to hover constantly, you’d drive them nuts! Not to mention that a kid playing in the water and a child drowning can look so frighteningly similar.

    I am so thankful that everything turned out well in the end. It saddens me that you were so worried about posting this. Some people just seem to take the anonymity of the internet as an excuse to be unbearably rude. I’m going to go hug my kids tight right now.

  419. Even under the best of circumstances things can go drastically wrong. I am so thankful that your little one is alive and well…and thank you for being so willing to share such a personal story with us all. It is a good reminder that we all need to be reminded of…so thank you for that.

  420. When you said “hard to read” you weren’t kidding! (i’m still crying!) I have a one year old son a we have recently added both a boat and a pool to our family. Your story and the article were both eye openers! I just sent the article to every one of my family members.

    Thank you for sharing such a difficult experience. I’m so glad that Clark is ok!!!!

    p.s. i’m looking up refresher CPR courses right now as well 🙂

  421. I had a similar experience with my son. I was watching him and his sister swim. They had lessons. I was watching them with out a baby and was fully alert without all the other stuff going on and it still happened. It was so fast and unexpected that I didn’t know what had hit me. Thank you for sharing. You really might save someone’s life just by bringing more awareness to all of us.

  422. I would hope no one would leave a negative comment on that. Anyone who has more than one child knows how quickly and easily something can happen even if you are paying attention. You can’t watch them every second of the day. I was in nervous breakdown mode the entire summer because I have a 7 year old who can swim very well, a 4 year old who can’t swim and an 18 month old who has no fear. My attention was always on the little ones because I was more worried about them but it’s so easy for something to happen to your older ones too. I appreciate your post because it helps remind all of us that it can really happen to anyone and often to the one you didn’t expect! My heart goes out to you and I pray you will be able to have peace after experiencing something like that. (Your son will probably get over this quicker than you will!)

  423. My heart hurts from hearing your story and the trauma your family has endured. I’m so so glad Clark made it. A family friend has a similar experience only, her son didn’t make it. It makes you really think hard about how fragile life is and how quickly it can be gone.

    I really appreciate you sharing such a personal story. It can be hard to share stories like that with complete strangers. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to you and hope that the scary “what if’s” don’t last long.

  424. It is so scary. Reading your story really gave me goosebumps. I am so happy to hear that he is ok! I almost drowned as a child in the ocean and was rescued by group of collage students, they told us that they thought that I was playing at first.
    I am so glad that you shared the story with us, we all need a reminder to keep a close eye on our loved ones. 🙂

  425. I just want to thank you so much for sharing this story. I will take it to heart because with a busy 6 and 3 year old, it is so easy to not be as careful as we know how to be. Thank you! Good will come from you sharing this and God bless you and your darling family.

  426. WOW! Such a scary situation. I’m so glad that high schooler followed the Spirit and went to the pool. I’m so glad that Clark is ok!

  427. Every parent on this planet has had moments of distraction. Many of us are just lucky that this or something worse hasn’t happened. My son sustained a serious head injury after falling out of his toddler swing while another parent was watching him. You are so brave to tell us your story. It is so admirable. You are an exceptional writer, and mature beyond your years. May God bless you and your family. Have you asked your son if he remembers anything? Some people are able to recall and verbalize a near-death experience. This can often be a very faith-inspiring memory.

  428. What a horrible thing to happen. It takes a lot of courage to talk so publicly about such a private ordeal in order to help prevent others from going through the same thing. How lucky your children are to have such a compassionate mother. I’m very happy for you and your family that things turned out as well as they did.

  429. Kate I am so glad you shared and thankful that Clark is ok. I am a mom of a 4 and 5 year old and we had a close call with my daughter right before swim lessons. She is my fearless one which scares me to death. After that moment I decided that unless there is another adult with me I can not in good conscience take my kiddos swimming. My rule after much thought is never be more than an arms length away. I have plenty of friends that think I am crazy and paranoid but after knowing that feeling I much rather be paranoid than regretful. I will pray for healing for Clark and the rest of the family. Thank you for sharing such a personal experience we can never be remind too often just how quickly something can happen.

  430. Thank you for sharing. It is a reminder to all that water is dangerous. I don’t talk on the phone when bathing my 9 month old. I keep my eyes on her. So glad your son is okay. Accidents are just that, accidents you did nothing wrong.

  431. Thank you for sharing your story. My heart aches for what you and your family has gone through. I had an experience bathing my daughters that still makes me sick when I think about it. I had my two little girls in the bathtub, and my older one asked if I would floss her teeth. This is not something she had ever asked to have done in the tub before, but I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I leaned over my 18 month old to floss her teeth. I got done and looked under my arms where she had been sitting and she was laying vertical under the water with her mouth open, with glassy eyes like what was mentioned in the article you had the link for. I yanked her out of the tub and she didn’t breath right away and it was honestly the worst moment of my life. I thought she was dead! It really is silent, I was right above her and didn’t hear a a thing. I still can’t believe it happened. I hadn’t left the room to change the laundry, or answer the phone. I was right there, right above her, and it happened to me. I pray that you can have peace in your heart, and know thay you are a good mom!

  432. I almost didnt reply as you’ve had so many replies already and you know we love and cre about you, and no one thinks you are a bad mumma! My sister whent thru something very similar just had a new baby- had a 14 month old, and our mm had just passed away. I am sooo thankful her little girl was alright, I can not imagine her losing her daughter and her mum in the same week. Thank GOODNESS our dad new CPR!
    But, wanted to share that just today, I was cooking up some turkey bacon, just to have as a lean protien in the fridge. After, I headed outside to prune the apple trees. An hour or so later, I popped back in the house to rab something and the place was FILLED with smoke. I guess, I hadnt actually turned the burner off and I’d left the pan with some bacon on it. Now it was charcol. I can not imagine what would have happend if I had spent another hour outside. But, the shocking and disturbing part to me was even though my entire house was filled with smoke (infact, we could smell it outside, and thought the neighbor was burning dinner – (not unusual) every bedroom, the living and diningrooms, all a smokey fog, NONE of our smoke detectors was sounding. Once I started opening doors and trying to get some air moving, the smoke detectors kicked in! It just re-inforced for me how QUICKLY disaster can happen. to anyone, any time. we think we have things covered- I was right there, my husband was even closer, putting up christmas lights, and neither of us saw anything, heard anything and when we did smell something, we thought it wasnt us!
    Praying for you all, and all of you who have posted a heart breaking comment.

  433. The same thing happened to my little brother when he was 4 and I was 7, only it was me who had to jump in and save him. It only took <1 minute for him to slip into the deep end while my mom and I were taking off our shoes and jackets to get in. I'm not sure who would ever post a mean comment about a child drowning, but this is just one of those things in life that happen whether you plan meticulously or not. I'm really glad your son is alright! -Beth

  434. I just really wanted to send you my love and support! I have been through my own so fast moment with a horrible ending. I lost my son 4 1/2 years ago. Im so happy for you and yours that it didnt end in a similar way. Michelle

  435. The same thing happened to my best friend’s daughter. It was terrifying. Ever since then we have a “designated watcher.” We rotate one parent about every 20 minutes. They sit and watch the water, no one can talk to them, ask them for something etc. Sometimes they even have a whistle. We wouldn’t have started that if her daughter hadn’t almost drown. It helps us all feel better about the water, in AZ there are LOTS of swimming pools and lots of little kids. So thankful the teenager was right where he was needed to be when he needed to be there.

  436. This summer while on family vacation my 2yr old niece climbed a gate into the pool area during dinner. Thank God all of us ate outside as she fell into the pool. Another niece was closest and jump in first and pulled her out. Two uncles jumped off a padio roof to get to her. 13 adults were there it still happened. She was completely fine. Your a wonderful Mom.

  437. Thank you so much for having the courage to share. I will pass this on and know that many will be more aware and safe, because of you.

  438. I am so sorry to hear what happened to your family! So happy everything turned out well. I shared the article on drowning with my family as my parents just put a pool in. Thank you for sharing it! I also understand the guilt and blame we place on ourselves. My baby received third degree burns from touching the glass on a gas fireplace at my sisters home. I had no idea it was on but she crawled to it shortly after we got there. The shoulda, woulda, coulda’s were constant after ours. Time eases the pain and guilt we feel though! Accidents do happen, even to the most vigilant!

  439. Thank you for sharing this story! I am a PICU nurse in Knoxville Tennessee, and I really appreciate your willingness to share and spread awareness! Thank you!

  440. I was pregnant and watching from the shore when my oldest son – about age 8, and who swam very well, dove into a lake from a floating “island” about 50 feet from shore and never came up that I saw. It was a company picnic, and dozens of people dove, time and again, looking for him. Little did any of us know, he swam underwater all the way to an area behind a large sand dune, then hid there, out of everyone’s sight. I’ve never been so terrified, or so relieved to find him after his “big tease, Mom!” I know the terror you felt, and my heart goes out to you. I’m so glad both our experiences have a happy ending, Kate! (((Hugs!)))

  441. I am sorry this happened to you and your family. It was brave of you to post this. Thanks so much for the reminder to be vigilant and to learn CPR. I need a refresher too! Thanks too for all of the wonderful food and family inspiration.

  442. I just watched the news segment. I want to hug that Greg Peterson. And your little Clark as well. So glad that you’re all okay. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us all that we need to be diligent around water.

  443. Soooo…..I appreciate everything you have posted. I am a swim instructor and I tell parents these things all the time. We rescued a 5yr. old from our pool in May of 2011 and we were able to revive him. All parents should supervise their children in and around water vigilantly! Swim lessons is a must and should be continued until the child is a GOOD swimmer……not like a 5yr. old who can swim across the pool. They need to be able to tread water, know what to do if they get over their head, be able to “right” themselves if they are in a weird position and know what to do if they see someone else in trouble. After our rescue….other kids told me that they had see him on the bottom of the pool! They need to be able to recognize when another person is in distress. I am glad that your story had a happy ending. Thanks for sharing it.

  444. I missed this post-I don’t know how! Reading this made my stomach turn because it could happen to anyone! I have 7 and 4 year old boys and my 7 year old is so over-confident in the water…it’s terrifying. This summer I was in my third trimester with number three and there were several times at the public pool that I was ‘right there’ but it just takes a second and that gulp of water…I’m so sorry you had to go through this! So terrifying and I’m so happy it all ended okay. Thanks for sharing.

  445. I am so happy to hear that your son is ok. It brought back a memory of my oldest at a family swimming pool she was trying to swim but just kept missing the edge of the pool and float devices. She was int he deep in. I was watching her. I didn’t feel the panic but another mother did and grabed her out of the pool to saftey. I’m not sure why I didn’t feel the panic before or after. I don’t think I will ever know why I didn’t except I could see her head above the water and she had been trained with swimming lesson. But the next week She was put into full swimming lesson for the next 4 years. Now she is a great swimmer. So god bless a angels who have been watching over us.

  446. What a frightening experience! I am so glad to hear that your son is okay. Thank you for sharing this and for the reminder to be cautious and alert at all times….which isn’t always easy.

  447. Wow–that is so scary and I can’t believe how fast things can happen. I have to admit we just spent our first year in our house with a pool and I totally let the kids swim without me being out there by the end of the summer. It just got to be “such a waste of time” to just sit by the pool all summer. I didn’t have the attention span! So I would let them swim while I was in the kitchen “keeping an eye on them.” Really makes me re-think my methods for next summer! Thanks for sharing!

  448. Thank goodness your little boy is ok. Living in Arizona we have too many drowning’s each year to even think about. I’m so happy that your story ended on a positive note since it could have been so much worse.

  449. Hi Kate,
    You are very brave and wonderful to share and educate us. Thank you for reminding us safety first always.
    I have a 3 yr and 5 yr old. We have a vacation planned with a large family group and there is an indoor pool in the house we are renting. Completely, not my choice. I am very very nervous and uncomfortable about the pool. There is an alarm on the pool door and lock, however I don’t know if you can hear the alarm from across the house. Do you have any additional safety suggestions. I don’t want to be the only group not participating in the trip, but I am very concerned about the safety issue of the pool. Thank you.

  450. So I know I’m like two years too late, but I’ve just found your wonderful blog while browsing and I really wanted to send a message of support & care.

    It happens. It’s awful. It’s horrifying. You feel guilty and sad and like it’s your fault. Nothing makes you feel better except that he’s alive, and he’s whole. But you still obsess over how you could have prevented it.

    But it happens. It happened to my brother. He stepped off the edge of the hot tub and into water he couldn’t stand in. My dad happened to see his hat floating on the surface. It was a near miss.

    It’s a terrible, horrific experience that made everyone question if they’re doing the right thing, and what could be done better.

    Your tips above are great, and exactly what I would use on my own kids.

    The point that I guess I want to make is this – you can plan for every eventuality, but you are not wonder woman and you cannot plan for everything. Instead you must set safeguards in place to bolster your own vigilance. Safeguards like ensuring a lifeguard is present when your kids swim, or that you have friends and family helping to keep an eye on your children. These things aren’t an alternative, they’re a safety net… just in case you, with everything on your plate, slip, these guardrails can catch you.

    That’s just my two cents, I think you’ve already handled and learned from this in an amazing fashion which I will take my own lessons from. Thank you so much for sharing and being so honest. I love the blog 🙂

  451. Oh my goodness, Kate! Thank you for sharing your story! I told myself that my husband and I would take a CPR class before the summer and here it is August and we still have not signed up for one yet! Now after reading this account of what happened to your son, I am promising myself that we will take that class before the end of the month. Thank you for taking the time to write this! Bless you and your whole family!

  452. Wow! This brought back some awful memories for me! One of my twins had a near drowning experience as well. He was almost 3 at the time and now a healthy, happy, fully recovered 9 year old boy. We were all getting out of the pool when he slipped back in without me noticing and luckily my teen son saw him but because the pool was a gradual entry he too, slipped right under the water gulping in water in order to take a breath! He was never unconscious but he was unable to make a sound and desparately trying to get a breath when he was pulled out…..scarey scarey! I will never forget! We got him breathing and called 911 and he was life flighted to Primary Children’s medical center where he also spend the night in PICU and the next 3 days! He recovered very quickly and completely. No pneumonia or anything. It is absolutely horrifying being a mother right at the pool in a circumstance like this. Truly you never think anything like this is going to happen and you think you are quite aware of everything that is happening! So scarey to see how quickly something can happen. So glad to hear your outcome was a good one! My little guy wanted to go swimming on the way home from the hospital……..YIKES! It was ME who had to get comfortable with the pool again. ;o) We all love to swim once again!

  453. Kate first of all I would like to tell you thank you! I read this article when you first posted it and read the attached part about what drowning looks like. Well 2 days ago we almost lost our son to drowning. He was a couple arms length away and the water wasn’t very deep. But somehow that article clicked into my head and I knew he was in trouble, he was blue and we had to do cpr. But he is home and safe and healthy. My heart still hurts but I want you to know that I know this was hard to write about, it’s hard for me now but it helped me save my son! Thank you so much!

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