Celebrating life stories...



This memorial is sponsored by:

Shelli Stuart

Memorial created 11-24-2008 by
Shelli Stuart
Haylee Danyelle Mazzella
July 13 2001 - June 3 2006

IN HOPES THAT MAYBE HAYLEE CAN HELP SAVE EVEN ONE LITTLE CHILD FROM DROWNING, here are some facts about drowning and some advice on how to prevent it.


DROWNING IS A SILENT KILLER. Drowning victims do not splash; they do not call for help. You must keep your eyes on children in water AT ALL TIMES. If the phone rings, LET IT RING. In the time it takes to go and answer a ringing phone, a child can drown. It happens all the time. It isn't worth it! Whatever it is that you need to go do, it can wait. Because Haylee's step-grandmother wanted to change her wet clothing, HAYLEE IS GONE FOREVER. She left Haylee unattended. Even though there were 8 adults in and around the pool when Haylee was drowning, no one saw her slip under, and no one heard a thing.


Don't think it can't or won't happen to your child. When you consider how nurtured and cherished and adored Haylee was, it strikes you that this is the LAST little girl anyone would expect to drown.


Never trust anyone else, EVEN A CLOSE RELATIVE, to watch your child in water. Haylee's mother had no reason not to trust the step-grandmother. She had held Haylee the day she was born and been involved in her life ever since. She said Haylee was her "little princess." You are the only person YOU KNOW will watch your child closely.


Drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1 to 4 years. Every day in the United States, 3 more children drown.


Children can drown in just a few inches of water. They drown in cleaning buckets that have liquid in them. They drown in washing machines when they lift the lid out of curiosity and tumble in, because they are top heavy. They drown in bathtubs when there's hardly any water in the tub. They find their way into neighbors' backyards and drown in swimming pools. They drown in hot tubs. Always be aware of where your child is. Keep doors locked. You may want to put inexpensive alarms on your doors that will sound an alert when the door is opened. A dear friend of mine had a swimming pool many years ago. She was such a good mother you would almost say she was perfect. She had a big, strong fence installed all around her pool. She did everything she could think of to protect her little 4 year old boy. Then heavy winds blew in her city for days. Unbeknownst to her, the wind blew a small portion of the gate down at the swimming pool. She could not see this from the window. Her little boy snuck out the sliding glass door to the backyard. He found the portion of the gate that had blown down. She found him face down in the pool. He was on life support for several days before the doctors declared him brain dead. That was in the 1970s. She still goes to the cemetery on his birthday every year and sits by his grave the entire day. She doesn't talk about it much, but it haunts her. She had the pool filled in, and she never wanted another one after that. I think it's best to not even have a pool, because no matter how careful you are, freak accidents like this one can happen. It isn't worth losing your child.



If, for whatever reason, your child will have to be around water, take all the safety precautions you can. Have them wear floaties and a life ring. They should take swimming lessons no matter what. Teach your babysitters about the dangers of drowning and how quickly it happens. WARNING: Floaties and / or a life ring are not a substitute for adult supervision. Children can still drown while wearing floaties and life rings. Do not think that having minor children supervise other children is good enough. Countless drownings have occurred while children or teens were supervising small children. Do not allow children to watch other children in the bathtub, either. I have read many stories about a child drowning in a few inches of water while in the tub with an older sibling.


SHARE HAYLEE'S STORY. Tell your family and your friends. Tell strangers. I have told Haylee's story to people at the bank, the grocery store, work, on the internet -- everywhere I can. Maybe Haylee can save a life through you. I know she would love to save another child. We know the value of ONE CHILD'S life; we've seen the devastation Haylee's family has suffered and we've watched the pain get worse even when we think it can't possibly get any worse.


Please sign the guestbook for Haylee by clicking here

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