Jackie Cira lost her 4-year-old in a drowning accident. Now she's trying to help parents learn from her loss. (WRDW-TV / March 23, 2012)
News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, March 23, 2012
EVANS, Ga. -- A 2-year-old is dead and his mother is facing felony charges after the toddler drowned in the family pool earlier this week.
The news brings back a world of hurt for one Evans mother, struggling to cope after an all-too-similar experience. Brody Johnson was only 2 years old when he slipped through the doggy door at a babysitter's home and fell into her swimming pool.
Johnson's injuries were so serious, even two years later, he still has hardly any control over his body. His family has been all around the world, even traveling to China for stem cell treatments.
With summer fast approaching, Jackie Cira is speaking out about pool safety and how to keep your child safe.
"I would not want anyone's life to end up like mine. It changed all of our lives," she said.
Cira's son, 4-year-old son Brody, is slowly doing better each day.
"He's actually doing very well. It is small milestones, but to me, they're huge. He's a huge fighter. He's my hero," Cira said.
Brody's life is tubes and monitors after nearly drowning.
"You can't turn back the clock, and I wish every day that I had stayed home from work that day. I wish I could turn back the clock and bring Brody back," Cira said.
And those terrible feelings came rushing back when she heard about 2-year-old Daniel Stocker, who drowned in his family's pool on Wednesday.
"Katie, it's ripped my heart out. I cried for several days. Every time a child drowns, it takes me back to September of '09," Cira said. "I feel for the family, the friends, just everybody. The loss of a child is just awful."
Daniel's mother, Lisa Stocker, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and deprivation of a minor. Investigators say Daniel was missing for nearly two hours before the mother called 911.
"It is neglect. You have to watch small children; you have to know where they're at at all times. It does happen very quickly and that's why I've decided to just really try to get the awareness out there make people be more cautious," she said.
Cira said she hopes parents at home learn from these life lessons.
"There are devices that you can add to the pools that when things hit, the pool alarms go off. Number one, if you have a pool, learn CPR, know how to save a life," Cira said.
They're small things that could make a big difference in the case of emergency.
"I wouldn't want this to happen to another family at all," she said.
A few other tips Cira had were to make sure you not only check your pool, but your neighbor's pool as well. She said if a child does go missing, go straight to the pool first.
Cira said Brody is getting better. He has a full-time nurse and goes to therapy just about every day. Jackie was told he would never breathe on his own, but he is -- he's off a ventilator most of the day.