ANGLETON, TX – May is National Water Safety month. Already in 2020, there have been at least 25 reported child drownings in Texas, alone. Those numbers are expected to increase over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, especially with beaches open during COVID-19.
Unfortunately, Sherry-Dawn and Jason Sheffield know all to well the pain of losing a child to an accidental drowning. In 2016, they lost their 3-year-old son, Rory, after he accidentally drowned in a swimming pool during a family vacation.
“Since then we found out that it’s the number one cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four. And number two for children ages five to 15,” said Sherry-Dawn Sheffield.
After losing Rory, the Sheffield’s started “Rory the Warrior, Inc.” in their son’s honor, where they collect donations to ensure that First Responders have the tools, they need to save lives. They also raise awareness about child drownings.
“Our mission is to make sure that no other families have to go through what we’ve been through every day,” said Sherry-Dawn Sheffield.
They have a visual representation, in front of their Angleton home, of how many children have died due to drowning in Texas since Rory’s death in 2016.
“Each swimsuit is gender and age specific. Right now, there are 386,” said Sherry-Dawn Sheffield.
“No one is immune from it. It’s painful,” added Jason Sheffield.
To prevent more drownings this summer, the Sheffield’s are doing a life jacket drive, starting Memorial Day weekend.
“We are collecting life jackets to give out at our local beaches. We will be fitting children with the right size life jacket. And those will be theirs to keep. We’ll also be giving parents a little information on how to protect their children around all water,” said Sherry-Dawn Sheffield.
For more information on the life jacket drive or to donate, please visit: https://rorythewarrior.org/