What MI Swim School Parents are Saying


Amelia’s Story

What is your child worth? This is a question that for most of us goes unknown. Sure we all say they are priceless, but are they? Do we pull out all of the stops to ensure their safety? Are we ever vigilant in monitoring our young children’s every move as they explore their new world and life? On Thanksgiving 2011 at 1:15pm that question was asked of us and the answer permanently changed our life.

Amelia Grace Pitcher was born on August 5th 2009 at 4:55pm. An amazing girl with breathtaking beauty, sweet personality and an insatiable desire to learn. She made it evident from her first day in this world that she was something special.

Every day the immense joy that she brought to us and everyone around her, reminded us that we had been truly blessed. As the months passed and she awakened to her life, each day was filled with endless wonders for her to explore.

Her mother Susan and I had been exposed to ISR through our local Rotary chapter where one of the ISR instructors had spoken to our group. She revealed the staggering number of people who suffer through the loss of their most valuable possession, the life of their child. We looked at each other and knew that it was imperative to protect our child from this preventable accident. At the end of the meeting we took the literature and began to contemplate how to schedule these lessons into our busy life.

Two weeks later tragedy struck locally at our close friend’s neighbor’s home. A three year old boy fell into the pool at his new home and lost his life. The mother had entrusted him to his older brother to watch. The family hadn’t even finished unpacking. As we mourned their loss we knew that this had to be a sign. How unlikely could it be that we hear about ISR and then be exposed to a preventable tragedy?

Thanksgiving 2011 a day we will never forget…

As most people on this day we were at home preparing for friends and family to arrive and enjoy a truly thankful Thanksgiving. Susan was feverishly working to prepare the meal and I was finishing my honey-do list which had now finalized with cleaning. As you might expect a curious two year old is quite an endeavor to temper the curiosity and desire to be a part of the operation. Amelia would venture back and forth between us as we hurried to finish before anyone arrived. As she hovered poked and prodded we would do our best to entertain until enticing her to go and see what the other was doing. This proved to work well until I began to vacuum. The noise was too much for her and she decided to move on to something more peaceful. The door to the patio was open from the countless passages through it. An irresistible target…

I finished vacuuming the living room and began to put the machine away. It happens just like they say it happens. First everything freezes. You feel heat rush to your head. You try to move but you can’t. You refuse to believe what you are seeing. You keep trying to move until you finally can. Susan jumped as she heard me yell “Oh my god the baby is in the pool” The question is… what is your child worth?

We are forced to forge our way in the world with work that monopolizes most of our waking hours. Is it worth interfering with that and make time to keep our precious children in our lives? In these tough times we struggle to make ends meet. Are they worth the additional expense to avoid a preventable death?

Amelia is…

We enrolled her in ISR at 8 months and then repeated again the next year with her graduating in July. We followed up just the week prior to that fateful thanksgiving with a week long refresher lesson.

As I ran to the pool I could see my precious sweet Amelia floating on her back amongst the toys that had lured her in. She was in full clothes and diaper but she was not panicked. She left her floating position to roll over and swim towards the steps. As I arrived, she rolled again to her floating position on her back and was just looking at me telling me “Daddy I fall in the pool”. I can’t describe the joy that filled my heart to hold my first and only baby girl in my arms alive!

No words can express our gratitude for Ginger Blackman and Rebecca Pletcher, Amelia’s instructors. ISR saved my daughter’s life. Let it save your child’s too. Aren’t they worth it?

Eternal thanks,
Michael Pitcher

Sara’s Story

Sara fell into the pool this morning, she is 100% fine. We had been planting veggies and she and Jason were filling their watering cans in the pool and cleaning off the dirt on the pool deck. I turned my back for maybe 5-10 seconds in order to sit something down and I heard the splash. She fell head first into the deep end. Little Jason yelled “Mommy, Sara fell in the pool” and I ran to the edge and knelt down. Praise God both our kids have had ISR swim lessons! Sara had turned herself right side up and was kicking her way to the top of the pool. I told little Jason everything was fine and to watch Sara come to the top. As she got toward the top she started to roll over on her back which is exactly what she is supposed to do. I grabbed her arm as soon as I could reach her and pulled her out. She fussed a little but was pretty much fine. She did NOT choke/gag/etc. I took her wet clothes off

and we all went inside and wrapped Sara in a towel. I told her what a great swimmer she was and told she and Jason step by step that they did a perfect job. They were both calm and understood that you kick to the top of the water and then float on your back if you ever fall into the pool or get tired swimming.

If you have kids that are 6 months or older PLEASE make sure they know what to do in a situation like this. Swimsafenow.com is the website for ISR lessons and we go to Ginger Blackman. All of the instructors are awesome. Don’t let your children become a statistic.

Linda S.

Stella’s Story

My daughter Stella was about a year and a half old when she completed her first season of ISR lessons in Merritt Island Florida. In November of 2009, when she was about 23 months old she was playing outside by the pool with her caregiver, who was holding my 9 month old son in her arms. It was about 4 in the afternoon and Stella was running around the pool playing when she heard the boat engine rev up, which meant mommy and daddy were leaving. In her excitement to try to run and catch us she fell in the pool.

She surfaced and turned on her back, staying in that position as she floated to the side of the pool. She did not scream or cry nor showed any signs of being afraid. Many thanks to Ginger Blackman for teaching both of my children self rescue skills that will stay with them through their infant and toddler years.

Keily’s Story

After 8 classes, with Ginger Blackman, my 20 month old daughter fell fully clothed into a pool as I was watching from a distance. I turned my head for a second and when I looked
back all I saw was her shoes in the water. (her sister pulled a cup out of her hand causing her to fall in head first) She did not even make a splash. I ran over to grab her and noticed she was floating on her back like she had learned in her class. She did not take in any water. I was amazed. She was very calm. Thank God that I was watching her but if I was not, it is good to know that these lessons are working.

Jake’s Story

Jake is 21 months old and almost finished with his ISR lessons. I hesitated in signing him up for lessons because of the cost and time commitment. I finally decided that it would be
worth the peace of mind knowing that he could save himself if the situation occurred. I am so glad I made the decision to start lessons! I have a safety fence around my pool. I had taken it down to have the pool deck resurfaced and hadn’t had the chance to put it back up. I was outside on the pool deck playing with Jake. I walked around the corner to move a chair back into the house when I heard a splash. I had only turned around for a second when Jake reached for a ball that was in the pool and fell in. I came around the
corner to find him floating on his back and breathing. I immediately pulled him out and he was a little upset but otherwise perfectly fine. I am confident that the ISR lessons helped save his life. Thank you.

Thank You,
Emily Barlow

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