“I’ve never really talked about it publicly,” the Sweet Magnolias star, 29, said on Better Together With Maria Menounos on Thursday, May 14. “We were sitting right there watching her, with every safety measure that could be taken. She just somehow or another drove into the water, and we dove in and we were unable to rescue her. When we were finally able to get her out of the water … and the first responders took her from me, we thought she was gone. We thought we’d lost our daughter.”
With tears in her eyes, Spears continued, “That moment, I felt everything that you can feel, I think, as far as, like, the worst. … There’s nothing worse than looking at your child and just feeling like you’ve failed her. And I didn’t want her to think that I couldn’t save her, that I didn’t try to save her. That was my biggest worry.”
The country singer explained that a firefighter told her and her husband, Jamie Watson, that first responders were able to get a pulse and would have to airlift Maddie to a local hospital.
“It wasn’t looking good,” she recalled. “She wasn’t responding to anything, so it was not looking good for us. So then, I just said, ‘Please, please, I just really want a priest to come in here and I just really want her to be prayed over.’ That was really important to me. … Father Mark, he went to put the oil on her and read the rites, and she sat up and started kicking and her hands started grabbing at all the things. They came and they tied her down. But that was our first sign that she was there.”
Spears said the incident changed “everything” in her life, adding, “God gave me the blessing of giving me my daughter back. I lost her, and I got her back. So, I don’t get to make any excuses. I’ve been given the biggest blessing you can be given. … For so many that’s not the case, so I’m not allowed to waste a day on this earth complaining or being ungrateful.”
After Maddie was released from the hospital in February 2017, Spears told her Instagram followers that her eldest daughter had “fully recovered, and returned to all her normal activities.” Her aunt Britney Spears, meanwhile, wrote at the time, “Our prayers were heard, and they were answered!”Listen on Spotify to Us Weekly's Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories!
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