Morgan Miller, whose 19-month-old daughter Emeline Grier drowned in a pool last June, is sending her support to country star Granger Smith after he revealed that his youngest child had died in a tragic drowning accident.
On her Instagram Stories Thursday, Morgan reshared a photo of Smith smiling with his 3-year-old son River Kelly in his arms — the same photo he used to announce the heartbreaking news earlier in the day.
Around the image, Morgan wrote, “My heart breaks. Another baby gone too soon.”
In four days, it will be a year since Morgan and her Olympic skier husband Bode Miller lost their little girl.
Morgan also posted a number of other Stories urging her followers to take necessary water safety precautions, including swimming lessons and an alarm system for residential pools that detects drowning, to ensure children are not risking their lives in and around pools.
“Add layers of protection,” she wrote, before adding a video of her 8-month-old son Easton being put face-first into the pool during his swimming lessons and then turning over on his own to float his back.
“It can truly happen to anyone,” Morgan wrote alongside the clip.
Her final post featured another video of Easton in the pool during his lessons, floating on his back.
“I urge you to make your babies safer!” Morgan wrote. “Sign them up for swim lessons”
Smith’s rep confirmed to PEOPLE on Thursday that River’s tragic death was due to a drowning accident at home.
The country singer shared the “unthinkable” news on Twitter and Instagram earlier in the day that his and wife Amber’s son River died “following a tragic accident” where “despite doctor’s best efforts, he was unable to be revived.”
“Amber and I made the decision to say our last goodbyes and donate his organs so that other children will be given a second chance at life,” Smith wrote, sharing along with a smiley photo of himself and River.
“Our family is devastated and heartbroken, but we take solace in knowing he is with his Heavenly Father,” added Smith, who is also father to son Lincoln Monarch, 5, and daughter London, 7.
Smith and his wife also requested that in lieu of flowers or gifts, donations be sent to Dell Children’s Medical Center in River’s name, as “the doctors, nurses, and staff have been incredible.”
On June 10, 2018, Morgan and husband Bode’s daughter Emeline tragically drowned in a backyard pool in the Coto de Caza neighborhood of Orange County, California.
In May, Morgan revealed she had performed CPR on Emeline before her death. Although her resuscitation efforts initially managed to keep their daughter alive, she ultimately died at the hospital the next day.
“Time is not on our side when it comes to water, and even though my daughter was resuscitated, there was too much damage to her brain for her to survive,” she said tearfully in an Instagram video. “It takes seconds.”
Four months after Emeline’s death, the couple welcomed Easton in October 2018.
The parents continue to raise awareness about pool and water safety as they share their 8-month-old son’s swimming lessons with followers and share information about the swimming education program Easton has been taking part in, called Infant Swimming Resource’s Self-Rescue [ISR].
“Parents, Grandparents, Siblings, Aunts and Uncles, EVERYONE….Please don’t rely on the visual stimulant of water to create your awareness,” she previously advised on social media. “Understand that almost 70% of drownings occur when your children are not expected to be near the water. When you think they are in the playroom or on the sofa watching tv.”
“Always be aware of water and place as many barriers between your child and those bodies of water as possible (locks, door alarms, pool fences). None of us are immune to this devastatingly life changing statistic. It can happen so fast and forever change your world,” Morgan said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, children between the ages of 1 and 4 have the highest drowning rates, with most occurring in swimming pools at home. And among the children ages 1 to 4 who die of unintentional injuries, drowning accounts for one-third of the deaths.
The American Red Cross recommends protecting home pools with a gate. “Secure your pool with appropriate barriers. Completely surround your pool with a 4-feet high fence or barrier with a self-closing, self-latching gate. Place a safety cover on the pool or hot tub when not in use and remove any ladders or steps used for access. Consider installing a pool alarm that goes off if anyone enters the pool,” says the American Red Cross website.
The American Red Cross also advises that parents take first aid and CPR courses to help in an emergency. They provide step-by-step instructions on their website, and offer classes around the country, found here.
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