Parents who suffer the loss of a child and turn it into something positive are my heroes. And so it is with Abbey’s Hope, a nonprofit founded because 6 year old Abbey Taylor died doing something she loved – swimming. Abbey’s parents, Scott and Katey Taylor are vice-president and president respectively of Abbey’s Hope. Their mission is to promote pool and spa safety education and legislation.
Abbey’s Injury and Fight for Life
In June of 2007, Abbey, her sisters and some friends went for a swim at a golf club’s pool. All of the children finished swimming and went to shower except Abbey. She was injured, but at the time of the incident no one knew how seriously. Hours later, doctors learned that Abbey had been disemboweled by an uncovered pool drain. The suction ripped out her small intestine.
Abbey shouldn’t have survived, but she did. She went through many surgeries and hospital stays, including triple-transplant surgery – a liver, small bowel and pancreas. While sick and weak, Abbey did the things she loved most – singing, riding a bicycle, attending parties, and most of all, spending time with her parents and her sisters. Sadly, after infections, kidney dialysis, cancer and her body rejecting her new organs, Abbey Taylor died on March 20, 2008, just nine months after the disembowelment.
Abbey’s Parents’ Promise and Abbey’s Hope
Because Abbey’s parents made a promise to her that this kind of injury wouldn’t happen again to anyone else, the Abbey’s Hope Foundation was formed.
One of the goals of Abbey’s Hope is to teach about pool safety. Here are the Four Steps to Safer Pools:
- Avoid Dangerous Drains
- Teach Swimming and Lifesaving Skills
- Install Barriers
- Be Vigilant
Abbey’s Hope has come up with a way to ensure that an adult is always supervising children when they are swimming, even when there is a lifeguard on duty. It’s the Water WatchDog program. Learn more about this take the pledge and receive a free Watchdog tag.
Learn about safe pool drain covers. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Act (the â€œVGB Actâ€) was signed into law by President George Bush on December 19, 2007, and became effective on December 19, 2008. This law covers only public pools. Please be alert in checking each pool and spa cover to see if it is a dome-shaped, anti-entrapment cover. If in doubt, don’t swim or enter the pool or spa.
What You Can Do
- Visit Abbey’s Hope and learn more.
- Share this post.
- Make a donation.
- Follow Abbey’s Hope on Twitter and Facebook.
I received no compensation for this post. The story of Abbey Taylor and her family inspired me to share their story and the information about Abbey’s Hope.