(Memphis) Memphis father Eric Hart is making education about water safety his mission after his niece drowned last year.
Ava Grace Hart was with her mother at a home in Collierville last June when she disappeared.
According to the police report, the 3-year-old disappeared and was found nearly 20 minutes later at the bottom of a family pool.
She was on life support at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital for several days.
“When the doctors and chaplains came in to give us the results of Ava’s brain death test, when they told us that her death certificate had already been ordered and when it got here it was going to have the previous days date on it,” remembered Hart.
Ava was later taken off of life support.
Her organs were harvested and given to others.
Hart said after the accident, he was done with pools.
“The first thing we talked about was just filling the pool full of dirt,” said Hart about the pool in his own backyard.
Instead, he decided to start a mission of awareness, taking to Facebook and telling friends, “you can never been too paranoid.”
“Children don’t drown when an adult is watching. That doesn’t mean sitting off to the side like we talked about, texting or playing on Facebook,” said Hart. “9 out of 10 child drownings happens while they are reportedly, allegedly under supervision of an adult.”
Hart has since installed extra locks on his doors, as well as an alarm that will sound if the back door opens.
He has also spent over $2,000 for a fence around his pool in his back yard, “You lift up from here which is difficult for a child to do obviously because of height. It’s well worth the peace of mind that comes with it.”
Hart wants everyone to know that pools can be fun but he also wants parents to realize that drownings are silent and can happen in seconds, “If I can just urge one person that you don’t want to go through this and can happen to you.”
For information on pool safety you can go to http://splashmidsouth.org/