Sunday afternoon in Adelaide was cold but sunny, a lovely winter’s day.
Morphett Vale mum, Kelly-Anne Deverix decided to bath her 15-month-old, Junior early, and cram in some of those overdue chores before the busy week ahead began.
Junior, a “bouncy, active” blue-eyed baby, the youngest of four boys was placed in the bath by his mum, Kelly-Anne and left for what she says was just 10 – 15 minutes while she hurried off to attend to the laundry.
Tragically in what she has described an “honest” mistake when she returned her baby boy had drowned.
She has spoken with the media, just days after the death of her beloved boy to warn others not to make the same mistake she did.
Morphett Vale mum, Kelly-Anne Deverix. Via Facebook.
Kelly-Anne has described how she trusted that her 15-month-old would be safe as he could stand up on his own.
Speaking to The Advertiser she said that it was only around 10 minutes that she left the room to unload the washing.
The 33-year-old mother said the tragedy was an “honest mistake."
"As a parent we know what our children are capable of and not capable of. I just took that risk and that chance which I shouldn’t have,’’ she said.
“But I can’t go regretting, I can’t keep blaming myself for an honest mistake.”
Paul Donley and his beloved boy, Junior. Via Facebook.
Kelly-Anne, who has three other boys up to the age of 13, said she did not hear anything untoward from the bathroom.
“He was very waterwise” she said.
She provided a photo to The Advertiser showing the toddler holding himself up in the bath.
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“He could stand up” she said “at times he could slip but was able to pick himself straight back up.”
Her devastated partner, the father of Junior, but not of Kelly-Anne’s other boys told The Advertiser he too didn’t hear Junior slip under the water.
He said he was on his computer when his fiancé came running into the room screaming and then carry their son from the bathroom.
“I just grabbed him straight off her, doing CPR . . . I ended up with vomit in my mouth” Paul Donley, 33 said.
“I thought I got him back a couple of times but I didn’t, but I didn’t fix him. Usually I can fix things, but I couldn’t fix him,” he said.
The couple in happier times. Via Facebook.
Kelly-Anne says the family were devastated.
“But it’s true you shouldn’t leave your children alone in the bath, some of us mothers take faith in that sort of thing. If my hearing was perfect I might have heard something.”
For the couple the grieving now begins.
“He was every father’s and mother’s dream boy.” Mr Donley said
“I know he’s gone but he’s still here with us.”
“We’re always going to be in mourning” Kelly-Anne told The Advertiser "but we can get that major grief over and done with, maybe mend our souls and go on, but all in time I think.”
“We’re always going to be in mourning” Kelly-Anne said. Via Facebook.
Kidsafe Child Accident Prevention Foundation of Australia says that drowning is one of the most common causes of unintentional death in Australia in children aged four years and under. Children aged one to three years old are the most vulnerable.
Watch The Consumer Products Safety Commission warning to parents about in-home drownings. Post continues below...
While neighbours had told media that police had been seen at the property before and that they often heard loud arguing from the couple police told The Advertiser there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Junior’s death.
Our thoughts are with Kelly-Anne, Paul and their children.