An Acadiana mother is on a mission to share her message of loss and the importance of water safety.
Heather Broussard says it was just a normal day when her 17-month-old daughter found her way to the family pool and drowned.
Broussard had been busy that day, running around and trying to juggle a number of things, like all moms do. She left her daughter Mazie on the floor to play.
One moment Mazie was there, and the next she was gone. Broussard says she never expected what would happen in those moments.
"She wasn't walking yet, even though she was 17 months. I went to look in our other rooms to see if she snuck in our bedroom. I'm not panicking yet because she was fast. Something told me to look in the backyard even though both of the doors were closed," said Heather. "Honestly, I don't even know what to say, the holy spirit was guiding me at the time. She was face down in our pool. She must have gotten through our doggy door. It was just she and I at the time. I was screaming, the neighbors heard me, and I had to do CPR."
Mazie spent 24 hours in ICU but did not make it.
Broussard says that while sharing her story isn't easy, it's only been 8 months, she believes opening herself to others may help to bring awareness about the dangers of water.
"You know Mazie was such a bright light to us. I feel like she still is to those in Acadiana and those who knew her. I know her story will live on, her legacy will live, and she will bring a lot of people to know God," said Broussard. "The light that she has shined through all of us will make sure other children will be saved in her honor. She was an organ donor as well, being that kind of hero is how I want her to be remembered."
The journey is one Heather and her family never expected to be on. But it's one that has brought them closer together.
Broussard says they will continue to remember Mazie and the difference she has made in just a short period of time.
Heather has started Mazie's Mission and says she's looking to partner with local pool companies and swim instructors to offer more information on water safety.
Water Safety Day is Sunday, May 23rd from 1pm to 3pm.
It will happen at the Robicheaux Center on Eraste Landry.
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