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Ionia family shares story of loss, in hopes to help prevent infant drownings

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Posted at 5:35 PM, Jul 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-13 17:54:22-04

IONIA, Mich. — A family in Ionia is grieving the loss of their two-year-old son, Jackson, who accidentally drowned in their backyard pool.

They're sharing their story with FOX 17, in the hopes no other family has to go through what they are experiencing.

“Unfortunately we did lose our son in a very tragic accident, that we wish could have been prevented,” Sara Walter said.

Mom to two-year-old Jackson, Sara Walter, went to the bathroom on July 5th. In the minute she didn't have an eye on Jackson, he ran out the door, opened and opened the pool gate by himself for the first time ever. By the time she found him in the pool, it was too late.

“I think that’s why we want to do this. Is to help educate people that there are options to help protect your house,” Walter said.

Jackson's dad, Andrew Lower says this is a reminder for all parents to not let the little moments go by without notice.

“You never know. Blink of an eye. 30 seconds, that’s all it took,” Andrew Lower said.

But the Lowers want people to know they can prevent this type of thing from happening. Now, they wished there was a gate around the pool, or a door alarm at the back door.

“Something as simple as a five-dollar purchase…that could have been prevented,”Andrew said.

Infant Swim Resource instructor Michele Davis says this type of drowning is heartbreaking, but not uncommon.

“It’s actually the number one cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4,” Infant Swim Resource Instructor Michele Davis said.

Sara and Andrew say it's hard not to blame themselves.

“We always think about the thousand what-ifs,” Sara said.

They hope their story will help other families realize the dangers of backyard pools and how to keep them secure.

Here, you can find resources for how to secure a pool.

To help the Lower family during this difficult time, you can find their GoFundMe page here.