By Divya Kishore
AUGUSTA, GEORGIA: A heartbroken mother is demanding justice while asking for new rules around swimming classes for children after losing her four-year-old son. Israel Scott died in June after his swimming lesson in a pool in Hephzibah. The little one was taking lessons from Lexie TenHuisen, who has decades of experience, when the tragedy happened.
Israel’s mother Dori Scott said that June 13 was his son’s first day at the class and she only took him there. After dropping the boy at the pool, she was instructed to wait outside so that the child could concentrate. The woman had also shared a post on Facebook showing Israel near the pool as the caption read, “My big boys first day of swim lessons. He said he’s a little nervous.”
However, on June 14, when Dori was helping Israel with the swimsuit, he shockingly asked her, “What if I drown?” Recalling the fateful day, she told The Mirror, “It was a mother’s worst nightmare. It’s unbelievable and shocking. We had just been on a vacation and that’s when I scheduled his swim lessons. I was telling him ‘you’re going to be swimming’ and he was so excited because he always wanted to swim. He always knew the danger of water but he loved it so much.”
“[Before the second class] when I was getting him dressed, he said ‘why am I putting that on?’ I told him he had a swim lesson and he said ‘I don’t wanna go’ but was in a happy mood. He asked ‘but what if I drown’ and I said ‘you’re not going to drown, silly’ and he laughed it off,” she stated.
Dori went on to explain how things unfolded on June 14. She said, “It happened on day two. I signed my son up for a week of swim lessons. [The instructor] told me the parents weren’t allowed to stay because I guess the kids didn’t act right [with parents there]. I waited in my car and got a knock on my window [from a parent] saying ‘come get your baby’.”
“It wasn’t time – they still had about six minutes left,” she remembered. “I looked at her again and saw tears in her eyes. That’s when I started screaming because I figured something was wrong. My whole life changed in a matter of moments. I cried and screamed all the way up there and when I got there, my son was on the side of the pool while they were administering CPR. He was unresponsive.”
Dori added, “I could tell by looking at him that he had been under the water for some time because he was foaming at the mouth and had no heartbeat. I asked the swimming instructor what happened and all she could tell me was she didn’t know. She said ‘I don’t know. I told the kids to get out of the pool. I don’t know’. I stood at the pool screaming ‘let me hold my baby’. They wouldn’t let me hold him of course because they were doing CPR and chest compressions. I have so many unanswered questions.”
Israel was reportedly first taken to Burke Medical Center before being taken to the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Dori said, “We were able to go back and see him when they were doing all these tests on him. They finally got a heartbeat but once they did a CT scan he was already brain dead. He’d been under [the water] too long. He passed in the early hours of June 15, 2022. I never received an apology.”
Now, the devastated mother is urging local authorities to introduce new rules that stipulate “an adult-to-child ratio at swim lessons,” The Mirror reported. She is also asking parents to take extra care of their children and not leave them unattended at the baths, even though instructors are present.
Earlier, in July, Dori had taken to social media to remember her boy. She also expressed her anger towards law enforcement officials as she wrote, “Not a minute goes by that I do not think of you. We miss you and your kind heart so much. I cannot accept the fact that there has been no accountability for your death and it has been 24 days. How does one sleep, eat or function!?!”
“We will not stop until justice is served. This shouldn’t have happened and we want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else. You have to be held accountable for your actions. Only God knows your heart and the truth will prevail. #izzy4ever #justiceforizzy,” she added.