My Beautiful Family

Hi, Im Jo-ann Morris, a doting mother of 3 beautiful kids and a devoted Wife. Im 40 something but my birthdays these days are going backwards so Im now 37 years old. I have a sense of humour but sometimes a little warped.  Our life was headed in the right direction, we were happy and looked forward to a promising future.

On the 9th of April 2006 our youngest child, our only Son had a terrible accident. Samuel had a near drowning and our perfect life was changed forever in a split second.

This blog will follow the story of my Son Samuel and his survival of a drowning and of my family and the struggles of adjustment of daily life. The ups and downs and all the in betweens of something so horrific. Until I have caught up with the past 3 years and 11 months I will go back and forth with the past and the present.

This is my opinion, my experiences and how I see the world. It is not necessarily how other families circumstances are as each child and drowning experience is unique.

I hope this blog helps other families who have lost a child or who are dealing with a child that has survived a drowning. If you are one of those families I would love you to contact me, comment on the posts and in the future as I get better at blogging to share parts of your journey.

Drownings affect a wide range of people including siblings, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, friends, Pre-school Teachers, Teachers, Emergency Services people and the wider Community. If you are in anyway affected by a drowning or a near drowning I invite you to contribute your stories as well.

I will be talking about our experiences in the health system so I welcome Doctors and other Health Proffessionals who may deal with children like Samuel to also join in the discussion and in the future to contribute to my blog by sharing their experiences in dealing with drowning and near drowning in children.

Thankyou for reading my blog

Jo-ann XXXX

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6 Responses
  1. Debbie Hammond says:

    So well written Jo-ann,
    This information and your words on your journey are so important to such a huge range of people. I post all your blogs, video’s or warnings and I think I’ve had maybe “one” comment back. I find this truly FRIGHTENING. Either people are reading and watching my posts, can’t be bothered to comment or just sitting at their computers with their heads in the ground saying, “This will never happen to me, so it’s no relevant” or “Why does Deb post such things as it’s so sad and depressing”? You can never have too much information. Yes, it’s sad and depressing, loosing a child is depressing, but it’s also TRUE LIFE EXPERIENCES not some Farmland game I am playing on FB.
    I have 6 beautiful grand kids, but sadly I don’t think their parents are taking my attemps to inform them seriously. After all, what would I know!!!!!!
    I have seen pool gates propped open, toddlers left within the pool area as parents walk inside to get something, leaving both my partner and I frantic with words of warning. Only to be told to stop being such a WORRY WORT >>>>> our mouths were left gaping as this may be their children, but they are also our beautiful Grand kiddies . Friends with kiddies, tons of distant relatives with kiddies that read my FB each day and yet, still NO comments. We would never take those chances, not even the smallest if they were in our care.
    Some people just aren’t prepared to listen or take advice from those like yourself that have first hand experiences of tragic accidents >>>>>> So, So, Sad and frustrating.
    I’m sorry if I got on my “Soap Box” but I want your Blogs to be heard as you take the time to reach out desperately to people in an effort to stop even ONE more toddler drowning/near death drowning.
    Jo-ann keep up the good work, I am sure there are a lot of people listening to what you are saying, they just don’t happen to be on my FB page unfortunately. If they are reading my posts, please take the time to comment, it may prompt others to read or watch the video’s. Each child’s life is precious.
    Jo-ann, I pray that you and your family may find peace as you relive your very sad story in these blogs.
    I admire your strength,
    luv Debbie Hammond xx

  2. theboss says:

    If only there was someone like me talking and educating others about her childs tragedy. If there was such a person I wouldve listened and checked my fences and I wouldve found the fault in my 4 year young fence. You cant force anyone to listen but I will persevere because maybe those that havent taken notice now, something in the future may make them take notice. Some of the things I post are sad, depressing and confronting so its hard to watch or read and even harder to comment on.
    Im a careful Mum and I was one of those that thought this would never happen to me so no-one can ever become complacent about their ability of being a careful parent. Accidents can, do and will happen, thats why its called an accident.
    Australia is surrounded by water, there are oceans, seas, bays and inlets etc. There are rivers, creeks, streams, lakes and ponds etc. All of which are natural water sources across our country. The man made water sources that Australia has are dams, man made lakes and man made ponds. In the average persons back yards are pools, spas, fish ponds, buckets, water bowls, water tanks garbage bins and water features in the garden. In every household there are toilets, washing machines, nappy buckets, bath tubs, kitchen sinks and fish tanks.
    Drowning is such a big deal and so easily preventable. I had no idea how devastating to a person surviving a drowning can be, so trust me, prevention is much better than the cure because there is NO cure. My son became disabled within minutes, I now watch him deform his body, bones dont sit where they used to anymore because of his brain injury. He doesnt even have a long life expectancy. All this from a healthy, happy, normal little boy that had the world at his feet. As his Mother my heart breaks and I will never be the same ever again. Even though my son is alive 4 years later, I actually lost him 4 years ago, I cant even grieve him yet.
    Debbie, you get back on you soap box and keep spreading the word of drowning prevention. Your kids or your friends or relatives may thank you for it one day. I thank you for helping me make people aware of my cause.

    Jo-ann XXXX

  3. richard Vetzel says:

    Hello, my name is Richard and I am now a 44 year old man but when I was roughly (8) years old, I nearly drowned and to this day, I will never forget the panic as it pervades my dreams every-single-night. I constantly wake up gasping for air and I still think that I am drowning even though it has been many, many years since it happened…

    To me, I am still that little boy that was flailing in the water and I can only thank God that a boy was riding his bicycle and saw me as he jumped into the water and saved me otherwise, I would not be here today to write this letter.

    I think about him often and I think about finding a way to repay to him for what he did for me and I wish that I could throw him a parade and make sure that everyone knows that he was a true hero because he saved my life.

    I have considered contacting Oprah Winfrey and surprising him with a parade so that everyone knows that that he is the reason that I am here today.

    His name is Tommy Browning and I wish that I could meet him again so that I could give him a big hug and say “thank you” because I have a life that is so much worth living and I will never forget him nor will I ever be able to thank him enough for what he did for me when I was just a little kid.

    May God Bless You All,

  4. grace says:

    hi, i’ve worked on near drowning cases and i’d like to help prevent such cases.

  5. teresa mantione says:

    Hi, my name is Teresa. I am 45 yrs old. When I was 5 yrs old I almost drowned. It was the winter of 1972 in NY. Lots of snow on the ground. I was 5 yrs old and I was playing with my friends 3 houses down from mine. The neighbor who lives next door to my friends house (Mrs leszak) has a above ground pool. The pool had a cover on it and it had the big ball in the middle. ice was on top of the pool all around the ball in the center. We decided to hop the fence and go ice skating on the top of the pool. We went into her shed and dragged out the ladder and dragged it over to the pool. There was about 4 of us. The oldest being 6 years old. Don’t ask me why my friends mother wasn’t watching us but usually a parents neglect ends up with a drowning kid! Anyway, after getting the ladder next to the pool I climbed up. Me being the most excited wanted to go first. so I put my foot forward and starting pretend skating with my boots on. I got about 6 feet in until I hit a soft spot. My foot went right through and then my body followed. i had so many layers of cloths on. My winter jacket, gloves, scarf , boots and my long stocking hat. the water was freezing and I kept screaming to my friends. the more I kicked the further away the hole in the ice became. eventually I could see my friends blurry through the ice. I became so heavy with all my wet cloths on and I kept screaming and everytime i screamed I was swallowing more water. I was was in so much pain and terror. next, all I remember is not screaming anymore. I felt no pain. It was a calm that came over me. It was lovely. I remember music. music that I never heard before yet seemed so familiar. It was all over. I have no idea how much time had passed then all of a sudden I felt so much pain again. The pain was coming from my chest. I opened my eyes and it seemed like a million people were around me. a man was on top of me punching my chest, water kept coming out of my mouth I was coughing. I had no idea what was happening. I didn’t remember anything at the time. Well, talk about being a lucky kid. or talk about GOD making sure people live under any circumstance. Mrs leszak was home sick from work that day with a bad cold. When I was drowning my friends were banging on her door. She was suppose to be at work that day. Mrs Leszak dove into the freezing water and saved my life. The man next door was a fireman. He was the man pumping my stomach. All these people saved my life. I am so grateful to everyone that kept me alive. My mom took me to the doctor. I didn’t speak for over 2 weeks she said. The doctor told my mom that I was in shock. I would eventually start talking again. Drowning is the most horrific way to die. Till this day I still can not watch Titanic. but everyting that I experienced was very real. I always was a believer in the Lord and I still am. Note to parents. Watch your kids!

  6. Terri says:

    Thank you for this website. My husband and I live in a house with a pool. we were wrapping up a lovely Labor Day BBQ with our daughter and son, three grandkids and a couple of adult friends. Several us were poolside, I was in the pool. The kids were playing, the older 2 know how to swim, the 2 year old learning with his water wings on. I scanned the area, as I always did, and didn’t see the 2year old. I asked his mom and she said he went inside to use the bathroom. Little did we know he never made it inside. Less than 15 feet away from me, he must’ve slipped in and was hidden from our sight by a pool beach ball. A friend saw him, pooled him out, and he was lifeless, eyes glazed, lips blue. I began to administer CPR for what seemed like a very long time (probably seconds, actually) while someone else called 911. A few of us put together pieces of what we remembered from taking CPR years ago, or saw on tv. Thank God, it was enough. a minute before the paramedics arrived, our grandson violently threw up, his color to his lips came back, and he started to cry, but he was still not moving. He was rushed to children’s hospital and for the next 24 hours they treated him, monitored him and checked respiratory and neurological functioning. He was released the next day with a clean bill of health.

    His uncle and I are performed CPR together and worked side by side to save his life. We are both grateful and traumatized. Everyone that was there relives the experience, tried to reconcile our feelings of guilt, and support each other to realize our gratitude and look forward to solutions so that it never happens again. it’s been 2 days and life is standing still. I woke this morning and had a moment of horror thinking my husband was not breathing.

    We went to crisis counseling last night and will continue.

    I am committed to making a difference.

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