Morgan Miller says she’s haunted by the memory of the day her daughter died from drowning. But she and her husband, Olympic skier Bode Miller, want their traumatic loss to serve as a lesson for other parents.
Emeline Grier Miller, 19 months old, died after falling into a neighbor’s pool in June. “I opened the door, and she was floating, facedown in the pool,” Morgan, 31, told CBS This Morning in a segment airing on Monday, August 27. “I jumped in, and I pulled her out. And I started CPR … Every time I close my eyes at night to go to sleep, it replays in my head. It happens so fast.”
Two months later, the grieving parents have become advocates — not just for water safety but for parental vigilance in general. “I think a lot of parents feel like it’s not going to happen to them because they think it will happen during swim times when they’re watching their children,” Morgan said on the morning show. “This truly is an issue, how many parents have reached out to us and said, ‘I put my child down for a nap; that was the last time I saw my child alive.’”
Added Bode, 40: “I think people have a natural awareness of water dangers. As a human being, we know it’s not our natural element. But there are specific things that just that knowledge alone is a really powerful tool. I think that knowledge is not common practice right now … I think, as a parent, those little tidbits of knowledge are things that we can share with each other.
Morgan elaborated, saying: “Understanding that when even though you’re not by the pool, that if you don’t have that visual stimulant of water, it’s almost like, out of sight, out of mind … Just putting your child down for a nap, they are curious, they are brilliant, amazing little people, and they can find ways outside, outdoors, out doggie doors, out windows. So, really being aware that even though you’re not swimming, it can still happen.”
The couple hope other parents will heed their warnings. “Once it becomes something that everyone is aware of, we can really prevent these kinds of tragedies,” Bode said. “At the end of the day, what happened to us is horrible for us, and I think a lot of people shared our pain in that. But we want to make it not happen for other people.”
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