The wife of star skier Bode Miller posted some heart-wrenching photos this week of her kids going back to school without their 19-month-old sister, Emeline. Back in June, the toddler drowned in a tragic accident after walking out the back door of a neighbor’s house and falling into a pool.
In one of the images posted by Morgan Miller, her young son Nash can be seen weeping at the fact his baby sister is not with them.
“Yesterday was the first day of school for our kids. It’s a day we always look forward to with excitement. But all I can see is Nash’s face and the giant hole that was created between last year’s picture and this year’s picture. I can imagine that’s what my face looked like, too, stepping back into our routine without our daughter. I imagine daily how different my life would be today had I had 30 more seconds,” the professional volleyball player wrote on Instagram.
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Yesterday was the first day of school for our kids. It’s a day we always look forward to with excitement. But all I can see is Nash’s face and the giant hole that was created between last year’s picture and this year’s picture. I can imagine that’s what my face looked like, too, stepping back into our routine without our daughter. I imagine daily how different my life would be today had I had 30 more seconds. Had I understood @therealtruthaboutdrowning. This heartache doesn’t need to belong to any other parents. Together, we can change the future. So to all the amazing parents, grandparents, nannies, physicians, nurses, and community members who have asked how they can join the cause, here’s how! Join us in this movement to spread awareness and fix this drowning epidemic. Our September Challenge: 1. Print out the flyer in the third picture (link in bio) 2. Take a picture of your family with your pediatrician and the flyer. 3. Post and tag #emmyandlevi #drowningprevention 4. Hang it in your pediatrician’s office, in your preschool, in the local library, wherever else you see fit 5. Help us continue this important conversation so we can put a stop to the number one cause of death for our babies
She also sought to bring awareness to the risk of accidental drowning, and the particular danger posed by backyard pools, asking parents to print out an information flyer and publicize the message of drowning prevention.
In a recent appearance on “Today,” Miller highlighted the shocking fact that it can take no longer than 30 seconds for a child to drown.
“And the moment those 30 seconds is up, the likelihood of you getting your child back is pretty close to zero,” she said.
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I wish I could have one more day to hold you, but until that day comes, continue to work through me and give me the strength to bring awareness, my love. I told you as I held you in this moment that you could still change the world, you could still move mountains. Every step we take forward is because of you and Levi. Your footprint will forever be left on this world. I love you, My baby girl.
“This heartache doesn’t need to belong to any other parents,” she added in her emotional Instagram post, adding in another post, “I pray to God no other parent feels this pain.”
Miller recalled that it was just “a normal day” before the unthinkable tragedy occurred. She dropped the kids at a neighbor’s house, describing them as very close friends who were “like family.”
Then, without warning, this beautiful summer day turned into an utter nightmare.
“All of the sudden, it was just too quiet for me,” she recalled. “We’re in mid-conversation and I stood up. And I turned and I went right to where the boys were and I said ‘Where’s Emmy?’”
Miller was horrified when she noticed that the back door had been left open.
“My heart sank and I opened the door and she was floating in the pool. And I ran and jumped in,” she explained.
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We are beyond devastated. Our baby girl, Emmy, passed away yesterday. Never in a million years did we think we would experience a pain like this. Her love, her light, her spirit will never be forgotten. Our little girl loved life and lived it to it’s fullest everyday. Our family respectfully requests privacy during this painful time.
Despite lifting the little girl out of the pool and performing CPR, it was too late. Little Emeline was gone. A horrific accident, a momentary lapse in concentration and a tragedy that could have been prevented. However, these types of incidents occur much more frequently than one might imagine.
Staggeringly, drowning is the leading cause of unintentional death in children aged 1 to 4. But in the wake of their daughter’s untimely death, Bode and Morgan Miller are doing everything in their power to change this.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t pray for the opportunity to go back to that day and make it different,” Morgan Miller noted. “But now we have this opportunity to make other parents’ days different.”
By sharing their story, Bode Miller said, the couple were hopeful that “maybe we’re preventing it from happening to somebody else.”
“We are inspired to make our baby girls memory go forth and help prevent as many drownings as possible,” he posted on Instagram following Emeline’s death.
In an effort to prevent drowning, the American Academy of Pediatrics sternly advises parents to “never — even for a moment — leave children alone near open bodies of water.”
Please pray for this family as they continue to mourn the loss of their baby girl and spare other families the same heartache.