Bode and Morgan Miller will not let history repeat itself.
The couple, whose toddler daughter drowned in a neighbor’s pool last June, started their 6-month-old son, Easton, in survival swimming lessons this week. The former pro volleyball player documented the lesson on social media, getting emotional because “it was all I had to do to keep my baby girl here,” she wrote.
Morgan said she and and her Olympic skier husband put together an ISR (Infant Swimming Resource) session for their community in Orange County, Calif. It teaches babies survival swimming with the motto, “The sooner, the safer!”
Instruction begins at 6-months-old, a milestone Easton, who was born in October, just reached. Morgan said it’s just 10 minutes a day, five days a week — and it runs for four to six weeks.
According to the ISR Grand Rapids website, lessons for 6 to 12-month-old children focus on teaching the “child to roll onto their back to float, rest and breathe, and to be able to maintain this life-saving position until help arrives.”
Morgan shared videos from the lesson, which she said left her emotional. “I cried tears of hope watching my baby boy learn this life-saving skill,” she wrote, adding, “and then tears of sadness because it was all I had to do to keep my baby girl here.”
Last June, the couple’s 19-month-old daughter Emeline “Emmy” died after wandering outside of their neighbor’s house and drowning in the pool. Morgan was inside the home — Bode had taken another of their kids to a sporting event — and pulled the child from the pool and tried to save her life with CPR. Doctors initially thought she would survive, but she didn’t get enough oxygen.
The couple bravely spoke out about the tragedy soon after with Morgan saying on the Today show, “Now we have this opportunity to make other parents’ days different. We have the choice to live our days with purpose, to make sure that no other parent has to feel what we’re feeling.”
They’ve since promoted pool safety and worked with the American Academy of Pediatrics to update their recommendations regarding water safety and drowning prevention. Morgan has been very candid on social media about coping with their loss.
Bode and Morgan with their sons Nash (left) and Easton (right) and his children from previous relationships, daughter Neesyn and son Sam:
Morgan, who was pregnant at the time of Emmy’s death, admitted that having another baby under the circumstances was challenging. (“How am I supposed to bring a new baby into this world without — with just losing my baby?” she said she thought.) But baby Easton joined them in October and has brought “overwhelming joy” as they continue to battle through the “overwhelming sadness.”
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