In a video that went viral on Facebook, a mother lets her baby fall into a swimming pool, and does nothing to help—a heart-stopping moment that makes even us viewers gasp for air from fear. But, there is a reason behind this mother’s action, and it’s heartbreaking as well as brave.
Keri Morrison, the baby’s mother, is seen calmly enticing her 13-month-old baby girl into a swimming pool with an interesting object and letting her topple headfirst into the water. The baby is then left to fend for herself to keep afloat.
Keri has since been criticized for bad parenting, which led her to reveal the real reason she and her husband did this.
The mother recounted how their family was holidaying in Orlando, when their older son Jake of two-and-a-half wandered away through the backdoor of where they were staying and fell off the dock into the intracoastal waterway. Her toddler son tragically drowned.
Keri said, “One of the things I really struggle with is that my son fell in the water not knowing what to do. And that thought and vision fires me up to make sure that not just my children but children all over are safe and can do this in the water.”
The devastated parents decided to face their heartache and vowed to do everything in their power to teach their young to swim.
By the time Julia was 13 months, she had been trained to “self-save.” When faced with a life-and-death situation, it’s important to stay calm and breathe, and Keri taught this to her baby, whilst training her to float.
Ashleigh Bullivant from Infant Swimming Resource explains that the children are “taught everything incrementally in a very gentle way [that] honors the way they learn physically. They are taught breathing exercises with the aim of eventually being able to hold their breath.”
A 10-minute training session daily over four weeks can teach babies to swim. It’s a necessary life skill, essential to any parent’s peace of mind. Water is known to be the “silent killer”—less than a cup of water can cause drowning.
“To me, I’m protecting her and that is what a mother is supposed to do—protect her,” Keri said. “To see her face above the water at such a young age and know what to do.
“I feel like I failed my son and I’m not going to fail my daughters.”
So, while some onlookers may spit the word “neglect” and condemn her, in truth, all Keri sees is love for her daughters and a desire to keep them safe.
Keri adds, “I know the alternative.”
Photo Credit: Youtube Screenshot | Live Like Jake.