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Near Drowning Anniversary - Time for reflections

9 April 2009 marks the 3rd anniversary of Samuel Morris' near drowning accident. Like all anniversaries it prompts reflection about what has happened since the event that set in train the process of having anniversaries.

This anniversary is obviously tinged with sadness for all the Morris family and all those associated with Samuel. It is a further reminder of the loss of Samuel as a normal, fun loving and cuddly little boy, and the ever present reminder of his severe disabilities as a result of the accident.

Samuel will spend the anniversary visiting a neurosurgeon to discuss upcoming surgery required to help relieve his spasticity/dystonia stiffness and pain. This comes on top of today's news that the scoliosis in his spine has continued to significantly deteriorate and the surgery to correct this is urgenty required, and news that he has another bacterial colonisation on his already severely affected lungs.

Tragically the toll of toddler death and disability from drowning / near drowning has not stopped since Samuel's accident, although it is pleasing to note that there has not been a reported toddler drowning death or near drowning in Australia for over a month, which is good news as they usually happen on average every ten days.

The Foundation is concerned that with School Holidays and the Easter long weekend that this trend may not continue, as in previous years the month of April has seen a spate of toddler drownings/near drownings. So please if you have toddlers, or you know people with toddlers or school age children remind them about the importance of vigilance during this period.

Whilst many of us adults may consider that the water is getting too cold, it is still attractive to children. So please also heed the reminder to check the pool gates and fences, and the surrounding environment to ensure that there are not things around the yard that can be used to aid climbing the fences.

Today the Foundation contined it's visits to another family who is currently still in hospital going through the devastation associated with a near drowning that occurred several months ago. Young Joshua's family is showing tremendous courage in dealing with their situation, and providing a first hand account of their journey at the following blog . Their story will be familiar to anyone who has had dealings with a severe near drowning incident.

Whilst this anniversary will be sad it is also an opportunity to reflect on the good that has come from Samuel's tragic accident. Samuel inspired the formation of the Samuel Morris Foundation through his determination and strength to keep fighting despite his significant challenges.

Since starting the Samuel Morris Foundation many families have been assisted in providing vital equipment needed for the daily care and quality of life for their disabled children. The Foundation has formed significant partnerships, and continues to form new partnerships to strengthen the water safety and drowning prevention messages.

The Foundation has contributed to spreading the vital drowning prevention and water safety messages needed to help reduce toddler drowning deaths and disability.

The Foundation has lobbied and continues to lobby politicians at all levels of government to improve the legislation and regulations associated with home swimming pools, their certification, maintenance and ongoing inspection, and the need for pool owners to be armed with skills such as CPR.

The Foundation has also contributed to research at the Childrens Hospital at Westmead in an effort to help improve the treatment of children with hypoxic brain injuries which result from near drownings.

So while the day will be sad, it will also mark some progress in helping to battle the silent epidemic of toddler drowning / near drowning in Australia.

Your continued help in support of the Samuel Morris Foundation is greatly appreciated. Your help will assist in ensuring that some other families never experience the need to have an anniversary like the one Samuel and his family and friends are facing.

How can you help?

*Invite all of your friends to join the cause via the website or facebook

*Send a link to the Foundation website to all your family, friends and work colleagues

*Encourage your family, friends and work colleagues to make regular donations to the Foundation

*set up your own regular donation to the Foundation

We thank you in advance for your efforts in continuing to support the cause, and help us spread the message about the work we do.

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