Twin toddlers drown in pool at Tennessee daycare centre – two months after owner was ordered to close the centre

2018-07-26 15:33
Elijah Orejula. (Photo: GoFundMe Page/Tragedy For Twins Elyssa & Elijah)

Elijah Orejula. (Photo: GoFundMe Page/Tragedy For Twins Elyssa & Elijah)

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A Tennessee mother has been devastated by the loss of her toddler twins, who both drowned in a daycare centre’s swimming pool last week.

A worker found the bodies of Elijah and Elyssa Orejula, from Knoxville, Tennessee, in the deep end of the pool on Friday 20 July in the backyard of Om Baby daycare in West Knoxville, People reports.

The brother and sister, not yet two years old, were rushed to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

Hospital spokesperson Seth Linkous told Knox News that Elyssa died the same day and Elijah was pronounced dead on the following Sunday after being on life support for two days.

The twins would’ve turned two in August.

“After much heartbreak, Elijah has gone to be with his sister Elyssa. They were formed together in my womb and came into the world together,” the twins’ mother, Amelia Wieand, said.

“Both kids were extremely strong. She was his other half. They were soul mates and never apart. Even in death, they were together.”

The heartbroken mother also said that they’d donated little Elijah’s organs.

“I’ll never understand this, and I’m not sure how to live with this pain.

“But to prevent another family from suffering this immeasurable pain, today Elijah became a superhero.”

The devastated family set up a GoFundMe page to pay for the twins’ medical and funeral expenses.

Back in May, the Tennessee department of Human Services served Om Baby’s owner, Jennifer Salley, with an injunction after it was discovered she was unlicensed to operate a daycare centre, Roller Coaster reports.

The Knox County Sheriff’s Office and the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services are investigating the incident.

YOU magazine published these water safety tips a while ago:

  • Never leave children unsupervised near water, warns the Johannesburg emergency management services (EMS), whether it’s the sea, swimming pool, dam, river, pool or bathtub. An adult or responsible person should always keep an eye on children where there are activities in or near water.
  • Erect a security fence around your swimming pool with a self-latching gate. Never leave a swimming pool gate open. If the pool has a safety net, it should be in place whenever the pool isn’t in use.
  • Keep a life-saving flotation device near a pool in case a child falls into the water.
  • Make sure there’s nothing close to your pool fence that a child could use to climb over the fence – such as pot plants or trees.
  • Fish ponds should always be covered with nets.


Read more on:    us  |  drownings

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