What I need you to know about the day I lost my two-year-old son.

In Australia, at least six children die each year from drowning in backyard swimming pools. Drowning is the most common cause of preventable death for children under the age of five.

Nine years ago, Tammie’s son Jack drowned. Tammie has now made it her mission to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen to any more Australian families.

I am the proud mum of three beautiful children. Sadly almost ten years ago, on the 5th April 2006, my life was shattered into a million pieces.

On the 4th April I was travelling with my only child at the time, Jack, to visit family from Melbourne in a small town outside Griffith, New South Wales.

During the daylight hours of the trip Jack was counting cars and saying “red car, blue car, white car”. He was so excited, and for a child that would be turning two on the 6th April he was extremely well behaved. As the day turned to night, Jack snuggled into me and slept most of the trip except for a few stops here and there.

We arrived in Griffith at 2am. We were greeted by friends of my family who had offered for us to stay with them till morning (as my family lived another hour’s drive away).

I was so exhausted from having Jack on my lap all night and knew he would be awake by 7am. As we tucked in to bed Jack cuddled into me and said “Love Mummy”.

I didn’t know they would be the last words I would ever hear from him.

“He wasn’t yet two years old.” Image supplied.

Jack woke at 6:30am. I was worried he would wake everyone so I told him it was too early to get up, gave him a banana to eat, and then said it was time to have some more sleep. Jack lay back down with me and I could hear his breath softly breathing on my neck, and I drifted off .

At 7am I was woken with “WHERE’S JACK?” from the people I was staying with.

I turned over and he wasn’t there. I didn’t know where he was. That’s when I heard the words I will never forget.


“Tammie, I have a pool.”

My heart stopped and my head started to pound right there and then. I knew where he was.

I ran outside and there was my little man face down floating in the pool. I couldn’t see from the tears streaming down my face. I wanted to be sick; Jack wasn’t breathing.

He wasn’t yet 2 years old.

From the time I found him and started CPR, it took paramedics and medical staff 40mins to start Jack’s little heart beating again. I was in so much shock, cold, and wet. I didn’t know if my baby was alive or dead until nearly a hour later.

Jack was flown along with myself to the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick where he was cared for. The next 24 hours would be very touch and go. Jack’s father had been told of what had happened and had now joined me at the hospital (we had been separated for some months). Jack spent his second birthday in a induced coma on life support.

After nine agonising days of watching my son’s life exist due to a life support machine, with the advice of specialists, the decision was made to turn Jack’s life support off .

My beautiful Jack lived for three hours on his own and in my arms grew his wings.

It has taken me seven years to find the strength and the focus to do what I can do now, and that is raise as much awareness as I possibly can. So I have created a webpage called “Jack’s Gift”, a page that tells his story along with the facts that surround childhood drownings.

I have created this page in the hope to save just one life. I am also fundraising for the Sydney Children’s Hospital where all donations will be directly going to the ICU ward .

Please watch your children.

Drowning is preventable.

Tammie created Jack’s Gift, a drowning awareness and prevention group. You can find information about Jack’s Gift on Facebook here. You can also donate to the Sydney Children’s Hospital here.