News 12 at 6 o' clock / Sunday, May 20, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- He was the little boy who nearly drowned at an Augusta daycare 11 years ago.
The accident left Anthony Dejuan Boatwright with severe brain damage and fighting for his life. He lost his battle just two months ago, but his mother continues to fight for him and for others.
When Anthony fell into a bucket of mop water as a child, the daycare didn't have insurance.
His mother, Jacqueline Boatwright, has since pushed legislation, written books and much more. And, even though her son is gone now, her mission is far from over.
"Every day is very fresh for me. Every day seems just like the day it happened," Boatwright said.
She lost her son just a couple of months ago. His funeral service was held in Augusta where their journey began.
Boatwright says some days have been better than others.
"One day, I just didn't want to get out of bed. Nobody understands why I'm fighting," she said.
But memories of her son and the reasons she continues to fight kept her going.
She recalled one particularly tough day, saying, "I'm trying to get myself up and shake those feelings those thoughts, and then I hear Anthony Dejuan say, 'Mommy, get up!' And I'm like, 'Woah!' He says, 'Get up!' and I'm now back on the bandwagon."
And the bandwagon is moving fast. Anthony's story, with all of the heartbreak, love and passion, will soon hit theaters.
"The script has been written, so right now we're in what we call pre-production," she said.
And Boatwright plans to shoot the film right here in Augusta.
"I'm going to be very active. I'm directing it, I wrote the script, and I want to make sure it's as accurate as possible," she said.
In addition to the movie, Boatwright just released her fourth book, "So You're Looking for a Good Daycare Center."
"It's actually like a guide that a parent can have in their pocket when they go searching for centers. Some things to look for, some questions to ask, so that they could make a better choice," she said.
And all 500 copies of the self-published book are already gone, something Boatwright is very happy about, saying, "I am ecstatic that when I put it out there that people were receptive."
You can get a copy of the book for free at www.anthonydejuanboatwrightfoundation.com. You only have to pay shipping and handling.
Now, she hopes parents are just as receptive as she works to tell Anthony's story on the big screen.
"I think its a beautiful story of our love," she said.
Originally, the movie was supposed to air on Lifetime, but now, it is set to appear in theaters.
Boatwright has also started a petition urging Congress to pass legislation similar to Anthony Dejuan's Law in Georgia.
The law would require all daycares in the country to tell parents whether or not they have insurance.
It's already gotten nearly 7,000 signatures just in the past month. If you would like to sign the petition, you can do that by going to the foundation's website here.
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