Just a few weeks after Vahnessa Estien’s two young sons began swimming classes, she revealed an emotional past to instructor Jeff Gershe that brought both of them to tears. Vahnessa had a daughter, but she was a victim to drowning when she was just two years old.

“We had the good fortune to have two more children. So I told Jeff, we are doing what I should have done with my daughter. I don’t want history to repeat itself,” stated Vahnessa, the 34-year-old mother. The same goes to Toni Rodriquez, who lost her 1-year-old daughter also to drowning back in 2011. Both of the mothers who experienced the same sense of lost shared their stories during the Memorial Day weekend, which also symbolises the start of the swimming season. During this summer period, the number of drowning cases are usually high due to young children being left in the water without any supervision. In the past three months, at least six children under the age of four have drowned in the United States.

Both Vahnessa as well as Toni mentioned that they were deeply affected by the recent spate of swimming pool tragedies, especially the two cases involving twins. “The news about the twins brought me back to that day. It sent me into a panic, in that place of total chaos and not knowing,” recounted Toni. Both parents are aware of the statistics. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the leading cause of injury death for young children ages between one to four.

“Undeniably, our hopes and dreams came to an earth-shattering halt that Friday afternoon in 2009. Yet the dawn of a new day has arrived, and through the anguish and longing for her, we found peace and hope. Peace in our most cherished memories and hope that we can go on living to help others and enjoy life even though Soleila’s has ended,” wrote Vahnessa on a website that is dedicated to her daughter’s memory. For more of the story, you can check it out here.

At Happy Fish Swim School, our dedicated instructors not only teach students how to swim, they also guide them on water safety as well as water survival. Such essential skills might someday come in handy, so it’s definitely worth the investment in the long run. If you are keen to find out more on the swimming lessons we have to offer, do refer to our website.