Abbey’s Hope – Nonprofit of the Month

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:

  1. Avoid Dangerous Drains
  2. Teach Swimming and Lifesaving Skills
  3. Install Barriers
  4. Be Vigilant

Abbey's Hope Watchdog PromisesAbbey’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 “VGB Act”) 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

  1. Visit Abbey’s Hope and learn more.
  2. Share this post.
  3.  Make a donation.
  4. 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.

 

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Connie Roberts

Professional Blogger
Living in the Tampa Bay area, I'm lucky enough to see beautiful sunsets almost every day. Although life can be difficult at times, focusing on the positive and being with my family is what gets me through.

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Comments

  1. Such an important post. Every year where I live we hear about the tragic death of a child in a pool. Those drains can be so incredibly dangerous.
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  2. I’ll be posting about this on my blog too. This is something so many people don’t know about!
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  3. OMG! What a traumatic story. I don’t know how her parents are doing it all while dealing with this. I’m glad this organization exists to educate us all. I will definitely be careful around pool drains for sure now.
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  4. OH my goodness, Connie! I had no clue drains could do that! How horrid for the parents 🙁
    Kelli Miller ( wrote this fabulous post..Stop Teaching Your Kids To Be Lazy!My Profile

    • Connie
      Twitter:
      says:

      I cried when I read about Abbey. She was a strong and wise child. And her parents are doing an important job by educating others about the dangers of pool drains.

  5. thanks for this post. I think the only thing I don’t usually do is keep a phone nearby. Never really thought about that but you can bet I will be this summer!! I LOVE the water but since none of my boys are strong swimmers yet I am always in arms reach of them even in a shallow pool
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    • Connie
      Twitter:
      says:

      It’s so important to supervise our children near the water and a phone can come in handy during an emergency. I’m glad the info from Abbey’s Hope helped you out, Lisa.

  6. What a wonderful non-profit. More people need to be aware!
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  7. This post brought tears to my eyes! What a horrible tragedy for Abbey and her family. I can’t even imagine what they went through. Her parents have founded a great organization in her memory, and hopefully it will help save other children.

    The dangers of pool drains are not as well known as those of children drowning because they fell in a pool or were unsupervised, but they should be. We had our pool built in 2005, and we made sure that both the pool and spa were equipped with two drains to prevent entrapment.

    Thank you so much for sharing!
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    • Connie
      Twitter:
      says:

      You did the right thing, LeeAnn – two drains are perfectly safe for both pools and spas. I agree that drain safety is as well known as drowning and supervising children around water. That’s why I felt compelled to share this story.

  8. How awful that this happened but it’s wonderful that they are raising awareness for it.
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  9. Oh my goodness, that is soooooo awful. I’ve never even heard of anything like that.

    Thank you for sharing this information. I’ll tweet it out.

    • Connie
      Twitter:
      says:

      I remember hearing something about this, Susan. I’m not sure if it was about Abbey though. The foundation brought it back and made me realize how easily it can happen.

  10. I have been more aware of the dangers of pools since moving to Florida. What a horrible tragedy for these parents but how courageous that they are making others aware through their foundation so other parents don’t have to go through this.
    Joscelyn wrote this fabulous post..Land O’Lakes Deli Cheese, Soup and Sandwich Recipes, and Giveaway @LandOLakesKtchnMy Profile

    • Connie
      Twitter:
      says:

      Same here, Joscelyn. We live in Florida and know about drowning and pool safety, but not so much about pool drain safety until now.

  11. Thanks Connie, this is so important to be aware of, especially at this time of year!
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  12. Wow. I really admire people who can recover from something like this.
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